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All main topics / Designtheorie / Information Design

Design Theory (50 Cards)

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What is information design?
- visualizing information
- audience can understand complex data
- discover patterns
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What does a designer need to consider in order to design good information graphics?
- using the ink ratio

- not to use too much unnecessary things
- but showing more the important info to have a clear context
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How do graphics can display certain data?
- induce the viewer to think about substance rather than about methodology, design, technology…

- avoid distorting what the data have to say

Example: 3D Line Graph (looks more complex, viewer looks on the 3D aspect but not on the sense)
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Explain the word "reduction" in relation to graphic design
- graphics should display numbers in a small place
> and making large data coherent (nachvollziehbar)
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Explain the word "narrative" in relation to graphic design
Info graphics should display:

- clear purpose, description

- be closely together with statistical data and verbal descriptions of data
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Explain the word "complexity" in relation to graphic design
Graphical integrity (Unversertheit):

- using the same scale in the same way to measure the right data out of it

- clear detail, information is labeled

- show data variation, not design variation

- number of information-carrying dimensions shown should not exceed the number of dimension in the data (dispursed vs. layered)
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What is "Data Journalism"?
- explaining data in a narrative way
- recognize trends and patterns
- quickly putting info together to see if its a trend or pattern


Example: Facebook Analyses David McCandless (people breaking up relationships more easily over FB)
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What is the model „Elements of narrative theory“?
- from a film theorist „Seymour Chatman“
- describes film narratives
- we use this model for storytelling (cross-media storytelling)
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Explain the first part of Seymour Chatmans model  „elements of narrative theory“
Fist part:

1. Model (based on a farytale)

1.1  Story (content)
1.2 Events (Happenings) > script, what happens in a movie?
1.3 Existents (Characters) > organization before start filming
=> Form of content

1.4 People, Things … (author‘s context) > influenced by experience
=> Substance of content
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Explain the second part of Seymour Chatmans model  „elements of narrative theory"
2. Discourse (expression) > rhetoric value, how a story is told

2.1 Structure of narrative transmission > how the story works over time
=> Form of expression

2.2 Manifestation > is the medium

2.3 Verbal, cinematics > structure of narrative
=> Substance expression (how is the story communicated)
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List the 8 graphic tools (after Hansen) and name one or two characteristics for each
1. Circle
- Characteristic: continuous or broken line, starts and ends at same point
- Represents: wholeness, an element, system, concept
- Function: enclose an area, boundary, span

2. Square
- Characteristic: 90° corners
- Represents: container for information, facts
- Function: contain text, relationship between elements

3. Square with rounded edges
- Characteristic: rounded edges
- Represents: setting, situation, location, context
- Function: contain / hold element, system, concept

4. Triangle
- Characteristic: 3 sides, ends at the angles
- Represents: 3 aspects of sth
- Function: point of departure, comparisons, contrasting, structure

5. Line
- Characteristic: straight, horizontal, vertical, diagonal, curved, broken, arrow
- Represents: connection, boundary, separation,
- Function: connecting, system, time-line

6. Point
- Characteristic: small, large, simple, complex, textured, single, multiples
- Represents: a point in time, lists, sign
- Function: focus, attention, make a point, emphasize

7. Fuzz
- Characteristic: dark, scribbled lines
- Represents: unknown, idea, undeveloped
- Function: mark sth unknown, not yet defined

8. Combinations (2 or more)
- Represents: complexity, stages, evolution, perspectives, difference
- Function: complex wholes, structure, connections (e.g. Mind-Map), planning, organization
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What is the crossmedia bridge?
- the connection between media > QR
- the bridge connects the physical and the virtual world
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Explain the model of Shannon and Weaver (Semotiotics & Signs)
- it describes the technology of communication
- every sign has these three parts

1. having a sign vehicle (symbol)
2. interpreting the sense + meaning
3. asking for the reference (where does this sign come from?)

> it is based on culture, experience, history, geography
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Picture of Shannon and Weaver model
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What do you need to ask when explaining "Information"
looking at:
- is there enough context?
- is information designed effectively?
- is the info useful?
- is there a rhetoric figure?
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What do you need to ask when explaining "Semiology"?
- is the info for a specific audience?
- what kind of order does the info has?
- is there a cultural or natural background?
- art = social compromise
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What do you need to ask when explaining "Semantics"?
when analysing signs:

- what is the message?
- where does it come from?
- is it natural / cultural?
- is it complex? (layers)
- is it clear? ambiguous?
- how explicit (eindeutig) is the information?
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Tell sth about the history of information design
- started late 18th early 19th century 
- the main reason was the retreat of napoleons
              - scientific research and statistics
              - look at Minard Diagram (1861)
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The picture of the Minard Diagram
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List the 10 visual techniques / forms of data visualization and give one example for each
1. mapping > Google Maps, Subway plan, visualize data in geographical context (space)

2. diagramming > bar chart, pie chart, tree diagrams (visual representation of numbers to interprete what a complex information mean)

3. sketching > illustrations

4. metaphorizing > abstract connection of text + image = poster of philosophy or nutrition pyramid

5. exploring > sitemap, flow chart (time aspect)

6. narrating > storyboard, comic book

7. expressing > with multimedia (interaction)

8. sculpting > 3D objects

9. spatialising > 3D deals with room, moving in a space

10. embedded code (as sources) > dynamic data basis, data diagram (Example: David McCandless)
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Picture of the nutrition pyramid > metaphoric visualization
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Name the 5 principles for designing information design
1.Color
2. Grids
3. Typo
4. Images
5. Shapes

Or the combination of images & shapes
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Lists the 6 elements for creating meaning in data sets - make the difference between quantitative and qualitative
1. Shape > qualitative
2. Size > quantitive
3. Color Value > quantitive
4. Color hue > qualitative
5. Color intensity > qualitative
6. Textures > using scale = quantitative / or qualitative differences

=> everything you can explain numerical is quantitative

Qualitative = characteristics, condition
Quantitative = mass, frequency (Häufigkeit)
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Explain the terms of diagrams (dispersed & layered)
> example of dimensions (pie chart = 1, line chart =2)

dispersed / layered:
- stacked bar chart = layered
- two bar charts next to each other = dispersed

and a stacked bar chart = having similar information for different actors
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How can the types of information graphics be categorized?
1. logos
2. pictograms
3. manuals (process description)
4. icons
5. charts
6. maps
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Explain the three types of rhetoric figures and its charcteristic
1. syntactic
- meaning through position and word form

2. semantic
- meaning through signs

3. pragmatic
- meaning through construction (is where the meaning comes from)
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What are rhetoric figures?
- a technique to construct a meaning by being explaint differently > to let others understand more easily

- language based
- visually as a picture
+ or the combination of both
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What are the differences between the three types of rhetoric figures in relation to each other
1. syntactic stands e.g. for > alliterations, tautology (a rose is a rose is a rose), chiasmus

2. semantic stands e.g. for > metaphors, oxymorons (Eile mit Weile)

3. pragmatic stands e.g. for > irony
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List some rhetoric figures and explain their meaning
1. Alliteration > paragraphs starting with the same letters

2. Antithesis > combination of words which have high constrast

3. Metaphor > a comparison in which a characteristic of sth is transferred to another to understand better

4. Chiasmus > contrary words in combination

5.  Hyperbole > exaggeration of an expression

6. Oxymoron > combination of two words which exclude each other

7. Synecdoche > replacing one word with another which explains the meaning in the whole (Dach über dem Kopf)
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Explain the connection between: Freedom, Rhetorics (Redekunst) and Persuasion (Überzeugung)
persuasion > someone is trying to change someones mind (überreden)

rhetorics > being influenced by someone and changing the mind, so the person is interested in sth. (Redekunst)

freedom > you can choose what to have in mind, having an own opinion (Freiheit), you need rhetorics to choose between something
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Explain the connection between: Attention, Persuasion and Information Design
- info design is the basis of all
- it can try to change someones mind

- information design > language & images > holding the attention

- you cannot persuade someone through information design

Example: magazine cover, catching the attention of someone through a smiling person on the cover
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Explain the connection between: Information Design and Advertisement
Is there an ethical reason for advertisement?

- advertising is a form of ID, package info visually to create a reaction when considering it

- you have access to information, and than you should buy it (persuation)

=> is that advert a form of ID and both have the goal to inform people and put a message across it will influence the audience

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Analyze the words "semantics", "narrative" and "visual"
1. semantics:
what does it mean? is there text, images, color, symbols? Is it natural or cultural? Is the origin specifically?

2. narrative:
what is the story? What‘s the connection between the components? Reading top to bottom, does text explain the image, or are they in conflict?

3. visual:
how is the information communicated? What visual components are used? Diagram? Map? Color? Quantitative, Qualitative? Dispersed / Layered?
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Explain the one rhetoric figure which works for "semantics", "narrative" and "visual"
1. semantics > an abstract transfer of meaning vs. illustration

2. narrative > organizes the components vs. irony

3. visual > how the semantics and narrative are presented vs. diagramming
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Name 5 examples of information design practicioners
1. Designers > intangible information to audience
2. Architects > technical drawings, guiding systems
3. Marketing managers > business data, statistics
4. Business people > e.g. inform shareholders about profits
5. Product designers > show emphasis of one product
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What does "Isotype" means?
„International system of typographic picture education“
By Otto Neurath 1925 - 1934

- certain logic to communication information (street systems, traffic symbols)

- combination of pictograms with geometry > easy to understand

- developed it for social science and geography

idea behind:
1. Different levels of detail
2. Use pictures to communicate info symbolically
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Name one example of Isotype
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What are important elements for using Isotype?
1. using pictograms
2. using geometry in proportion
3. including several layers of info
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What is "storytelling"?
- people remember the past but not the future
- story is temporal
- story uses time aspect to get sb involved over time
- oral or visual and interactive as an experience
- also usage of crossmedia / visual storytelling
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Explain "Design Storytelling of Vollmer"
exists out of 4 elements:

- design = thing and process
- business = process
- story = thing
- telling = process
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"Design Storytelling of Vollmer": Combine Story + Design
- user > protagonist
- the challenge we seek to address > antagonist
- how users arrive to solution > narrative

e.g. Storyboards, User journeys …
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"Design Storytelling of Vollmer": Combine Story + Business
- stories for the documentation of business values
- to achieve better planning processes

e.g. Stories for shareholders integration, marketing, changing media habits
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"Design Storytelling of Vollmer": Combine Telling + Design
- end users and project stakeholders
- design is art and art is science
- the art can be described through dynamic conversations
- the science can be often told

e.g. in form of project presentations (Prezi), prototypes (Marvel),
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"Design Storytelling of Vollmer": Combine Telling + Business
- getting to a core of a story by the 5 W–Questions

Consumers stories:
how a product / service story is told, can influence todays and futures success of a product / service

e.g. Employees interactions define brand story through personal interaction with customers

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"Design Storytelling of Vollmer": Combine Design and Business
- user stories
- once a story is defined designers and business stakeholders collaborate in telling it
- need: shared language,

e.g. communications like: human 2 machine, human 2 human, machine 2 machine, machine 2 human …
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"Design Storytelling of Vollmer": Combine Story + Telling
- in business: story provides sense of definition
- in design: storytelling is a way to communicate information more easily
- telling is the craft in communicating a story
- therefore, products are the stories when developers do not have skills in international storytelling
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Why is storytelling important for designers?
- for presentations, using storytelling trying to get sb excited and  interested
- reveal info over time
- communicate ideas to audience as a form of ST
- we often design stories for the audience
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Explain the combination of all: Design, Business, Story, Telling
DBST
- in combination achieving diff. results
- every communication is always a story
- using these techniques to explain ideas to client & audience
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What is crossmedia storytelling?
- connection between media > QR, coupon number, link
- connects the physical and virtual world
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Edward Tufte – What is "ink rate"?
Explain, and draw an example:
- is the ratio between ink used for explaining important data

- relationship between ink used for the data and ink that you use to explain data (that you do not necessarily need)

Example:
Line Chart (critical data), information around it is not important
Flashcard set info:
Author: Anna Mar
Main topic: Designtheorie
Topic: Information Design
School / Univ.: Macromedia Hochschule
City: Hamburg
Published: 08.07.2014
Tags: Information design, graphic design, semiotics, narrative, visua
 
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