This list brings together some of the best publications in information development to help you hone your skills, think in new ways, and become an InfoDev Pro!
The principles that govern how human beings perceive and process information are universal. There is a wealth of knowledge out there about how to communicate effectively. It can be difficult to find because it's often categorized under specific fields, genres, or media. Don't be fooled by the titles! This list brings together some of the best publications in information development to help you hone your skills, think in new ways, and become an InfoDev Pro!
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Johnson provides you with enough background in perceptual and cognitive processes that design guidelines make intuitive sense, rather than being just a list of arbitrary rules to follow. While the title of the book refers to user-interface design, the principles and concepts are relevant for all types of information development, regardless of media.
Duarte provides beautiful examples with easy-to-follow explanations. This is an excellent introduction to visualizing information, with a focus on how to engage and persuade through imagery and storytelling. I use this book to come up with ideas on how to visually present abstract concepts.
This is an excellent introduction to design basics with lots of examples and easy-to-follow explanations. What I really like about this book is the focus on being aware of your design choices and designing with intent.
This nifty little book is packed full of information about how people perceive and process information, and how that influences behavior. A great introduction to the link between perception, cognition, and design.
This is a beautiful book about visualizing data. It’s a bit advanced, but also very practical, with detailed advice about categorizing data, choosing an effective presentation type, and even using data for storytelling. I love this book because it’s technically sound and also funny! (Yau even discusses the value of humor, which is so often overlooked in information development.)
This is an excellent comprehensive writing style guide that covers specific conventions often overlooked in other writing reference books. While the title refers to “technical information,” the guidelines are relevant to all types of business writing. The authors translate abstract writing concepts, such as "concreteness" into specific, actionable guidelines.
An excellent book for a big-picture perspective on creating information deliverables in ways that are sustainable, scalable, and user-focused. If you want to become an InfoDev Pro, this book provides essential information about taking an integrated approach that makes sense for both your organization and your end users.
This is a somewhat advanced book for managing information-development projects. The concepts are sophisticated and practical. (When I first read it, I kept saying, "Yes!" out loud and making furious marginal notes.) I found this book particularly useful in diagnosing organizational and procedural issues and in setting specific goals for change.
This is not your typical business book. It’s personal, irreverent, and self-deprecating. It’s an absolutely visionary book about making business decisions that are rooted in a desire for quality and excellence, rather than continuous growth and endless profit. I use this book for long-term inspiration, as well as for specific examples of how information development can be used to ensure successful business processes.
Learning about the science of perception and how perception is correlated with design can be daunting. This little book is very technical, but, at just 139 pages, it provides a great starting point. It includes lots of examples, touches on the basics of design, and provides extensive references for further research.