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Information Development

What Is It, and Why Does It Matter?

Just about anyone can arrange letters and words on a page or a screen to communicate an idea. But not everyone can create high-quality content that actually achieves a desired result.

I want to be an InfoDev Pro!



Transformation: A Paradigm for Change

Information development is a paradigm for transformation – transforming people, organizations, and content.

Information development is about an interdisciplinary approach to creating content with expert-level knowledge, awareness, and the clear intent to help both individuals and organizations succeed.

There is a phrase in the business world: "Content happens," which refers to the fact that people and organizations necessarily produce content all the time, but they don't necessarily produce content with any real planning, intent, or expertise. While just about anyone can arrange letters and words on a page or a screen to communicate an idea, not everyone can do it well – that is, not everyone can create high-quality information that actually achieves a desired result.


Information development facilitates success, increasing credibility and engagement by providing people with the information they need to get things done, when and how they need it.


Information development positions organizations as industry leaders, building customer satisfaction, engagement, and trust, as well as employee satisfaction, engagement, and loyalty.


Information development crosses traditional communication barriers and results in content that is easy to find, read, understand, use, and remember, as well as relevant, timely, accurate, and complete.


Transforming Content

Creating Effective Content that Works!

With the information-development approach to creating content, you can transform content based on the universal principles of how human beings perceive and process information, rather than on specific and often outdated conventions for communication sub-genres.

For example, you can transform a dense spreadsheet with more than 100 tabs of valuable (but nearly incomprehensible) information into a beautiful, easy-to-use, interactive online infographic.

From This...


To This!




What Information Development Is and What it Isn't

Information development is both broader and narrower than traditional content-development approaches. It is broader because it is interdisciplinary and universal – it brings together knowledge and best practices from across fields, genres, and media and is based on the universal principles of how all human beings perceive and process information. It is narrower because its sole focus is on empowering success with information that is usable and verifiable. In other words, information development is not concerned with artistic self-expression, and a measure of success is whether information is relevant, accurate, and complete. Content that is vague, misleading, or purely evocative is outside the realm of information development.

information development – the practical application of best practices from across disciplines in the use of verifiable information to create and deliver content that facilitates user success


The Three Pillars

Inform. Delight. Empower.

Our motto is “Inform. Delight. Empower.” These three simple words provide a great entry point for a deeper understanding of what information development is and why it matters.

The three pillars of information development are:

  1. Inform – Unlike some sub-genres of communication, information development is focused on conveying information that is accurate, complete, and verifiable. This distinguishes it from genres focused on artistic expression and evocative persuasion. At the same time, it is based on the ages-old idea that all communication is persuasive – the very reason we communicate as human beings is to inspire action, trust, belief, and community.
  2. Delight – There is a prevalent and false dichotomy in business and technical communication that presumes content can be either informative or persuasive. This false dichotomy often results in content that is accurate and complete, but a dreadful chore to actually read and use. In fact, research has shown that pleasure plays a critical role in effective content, with measurable and significant effects on credibility, usability, and engagement. Information development brings together both worlds to create high-quality content that is truly effective.
  3. Empower – Too often, there are hidden and unacknowledged priorities that guide content creation, and these undermine the user's ability to actually find, understand, and use the information that content conveys. When content is created with the primary goal of making a sale, meeting a quota, or saving an organization money, users suffer. The top priority in information development is to provide information that people can find, read, understand, use, and remember. The second priority in information development is to do it in a way that is cost-effective, repeatable, and scalable. With clear priorities and criteria for success, we can focus on creating content that helps both individuals and users succeed!


Content Framework

Ideas, Language, and Design

Information development is a transformational new paradigm that results in a set of simplified guidelines, processes, and tools for creating high-quality, effective content that helps people succeed. With the information-development approach, it's possible to standardize content creation in ways that improve quality, save money, and result in engaged, satisfied, and loyal users.

Information development gives us a simplified, evidence-based framework for creating content based on:

  1. Ideas – Well-reasoned concepts that are easy to understand and apply in real-world situations
  2. Language – Standardized writing processes and tools that ensure clarity, usefulness, and a strong brand identity
  3. Design – Systematic, consistent presentation that reinforces and clarifies ideas, streamlines and improves information development, and both delights and empowers users

Spread the word!

Citation: Kister, Tina M. 2020. Information Development: What Is It, and Why Does It Matter? Nanatoo Communications, LLC. Accessed . https://www.nanatoo.com/information-development-wp.


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