Decoding Information Design

Welcome to the future, sir! We’ve thought of everything.


What Information Tech Brings Us

Bursting at the seams, our intuition and enthusiasm tells us we have arrived in THE FUTURE. We have more power in our phones than they had onboard Apollo missions. We have the power to calculate, learn, choose, order, envision and connect on an unprecedented scale. So why the lingering malaise with information tech? I think we’ve hit the wall of demonstration projects. For over two decades now, my software engineering friends have said repeatedly that they hunger to know what I need. They understand, with remarkable sobriety and humility, that they do not fully grasp my business. They have been making outstanding guesses, and built an industry that makes more money than the combined GDP of 100 countries. It’s an astonishing achievement. It’s our turn. Our problem as tech users is that we don’t know what we know. And we don’t know what they don’t know. We assume software has been thoroughly vetted to suit our business needs. Our intrepid engineers assume we know how to explain our needs with precision and predictability. Both groups are right enough to make gains. Both groups are wrong enough to zap our enthusiasm. So lets give them a hand. The following is a family of visual analysis applications technology can help with. What do you need to know? Relationships & Causality What forces are at work on your problems? Illustrate the mechanisms, processes and dynamics acting on your problems. An operation might ask what's happening with the supply chain, the finances, the service delivery, beginning to end? Orders of Magnitude Is the problem dominating your time responsible for only 2% of the outcome? The right displays can show you hidden large forces and the cumulative effects of small forces. Impacts The red one or the green one? Previsualization gives you leverage when comparing options before you commit larger resources. Progress Are we there yet? Feedback mechanisms tell you how your decisions are working out. Now you can stick out your tongue at your dad when he responds, "We'll get there when we get there!"