P01: Information Design
This term we will be working with the City of Vancouver's Election Outreach Team to develop materials to inform and engage citizens about the upcoming municipal election. Working with the context provided by the City we will be designing informative visuals to help citizens understand the purpose, process, and value of voting. The following topics areas are available for this project:
- The impact of the roles/responsibilities of elected officials
- Past initiatives and successes of the city
- What the city does in your neighbourhood (landmarks, people, issues, objects)
- Steps to voting (for new voters and, or, veteran voters)
After selecting one of the options above, you will sift through City provided materials to develop your own design that effectively communicates the given topic to citizens, as well as identify how your design successfully conveys the given information.
This project is to be completed individually.
Before your lab time on Sept 28/29.
15% of your final grade.
There are a number of weeks in which to complete this project, so please make sure to read the instructions below carefully.
Starting Sept 7/8
In the labs, you will start by looking at the collection of resources provided by the City on the given list of topics. Your task this week is to consolidate and structure the information for use in your information visual, as well as begin drafting approaches to the design. In preparation for drafting your design, please work on answering the following questions as specifically as possible:
- What is this design intended for?
- Who is this design likely meant for?
- How and why did you conclude who and what it was meant for?
- List the information relevant to your topic.
- Is it clear/easy (or not) to interpret the information?
- Why might there be concerns with understanding the information?
- Why is it clear/easy (or not) to make use this information?
- Would this information lead you to voting in the election? Why or why not?
- How might you approach laying out this information for your given audience?
Organize your answers to #1/2/3 from the above into an easily understood document (500 words total max). You will be discussing your findings next week in the labs, so it is important that you make it readable for your classmates.
Having answered the questions above, generate twenty thumbnail sketches which demonstrate how you would approach laying out the necessary information.
Due in your Sept 14/15 lab:
- 1 completed set of answers in a readable format, printed for lab.
- 20 thumbnail sketches of initial designs
Starting Sept 14/15
There will be discussion and critique in the lab this week, so please make notes as necessary.
- Based on your responses from last week, in-lab discussion, and critiques develop an vector mockup for a design direction which helps communicate the necessary information that you identified in your original review. Take into consideration:
- What scale of visual makes sense?
- What visual approach makes sense? (i.e. abstract vs concrete, infographic or signage, etc.)
- Where are you intending this visual to go?
- Why would citizens engage with it?
- How does it convey the information you identified?
- Prepare a brief argument (max 300 words) of why your design communicates the necessary information effectively, and use clear visual examples to support your argument.
Due in your Sept 21/22 lab:
- 1 vector mockup of a new design, printed for lab.
- 1 argument of why your design effectively communicates the necessary information effectively, printed for lab.
Starting Sept 21/22
This week in the lab you will receive additional feedback on your vector mockup and argument. The feedback should be worked into your final design due next week. Please make sure your final deliverables for next week answer:
- The design should effectively convey the necessary information.
- The brief argument (max 300 words) should effectively argue why your design effectively conveys the necessary information, using clear and appropriate visual examples to support your argument.
Final deliverables are due to Canvas before your Sept 28/29 lab and make sure to double-check all your submitted files to ensure they can be opened. Final submission is 1 PDF document, which includes:
- 1 vector mockup of a information visual design
- 1 argument of why your design is effective (with visual examples)
Remember that Information Design is a design course, and as a result the submitted package of materials and their quality should be considered a design problem just as much as any other aspect of the project.
Your project will be graded on the following criteria, a more detailed rubric is available on the course pages.
- Process — Weekly deliverable checks, final deliverable quality, quality and quantity in exploring potential design solutions (3pts)
- Argument — Quality of argument, focus on topic, use of visuals to support argument (6pts)
- Design — Application of design elements/principles, quality of designed materials, balancing aesthetic engagement and utility (6pts)