Jenny Reeder

Information Architecture: The Art of Science or Science of Art
April 2, 2007, 11:37 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I think I’ve finally figured part of the slightly overwhelming Information Architecture o nebulous aesthetic design out. I think it’s a mix of art and science, or as Luke Wroblewski says, “how visual information communicates with your audience.”

I love how Laura described her reaction to Steve Krug’s book as quick, active, and impatient. I, too, appreciated his frank, honest approach to how people really use websites, and how we can come to a quick understanding. I love his point that often we expect web users to be all the same, and to be like us. We need to account for more variety in our designs. And we need to take the time to account for our audience.

Now the Art-Science connection. Jon raises an important question about aesthetics in his blog. I think it’s a blend of sound principles–as outlined by Robin Williams and John Tollett in their design principles. They define such concepts as Alignment, Proximity, Repetition, and Contrast. Contrast provides a whole world of importance. I think Bill raised an interesting question about the use of color in his new blog design. While I applaud his efforts to keep things simple, I wonder if using black and white only below his headline detracts from the beauties and abilities of the web. Robin Williams and John Tollett encourage contrast in several different ways, and I think subtle color is extremely helpful. My comments are here. I also think it’s an understanding of the time period from which we are working–really demonstrating our knowledge of the colors and images and typeface. I love the concept of blending them all together.


5 Comments so far
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Thanks for making the early rounds of our 697 blog circuit, thanks especially for your comments on my design site. I’ve been continually tweaking it, you can see the latest progress at I’ve been thinking about making headers of different posts a different color, but don’t want to confuse headers with links. Guess I’ll give it a try and see how it looks.

Comment by Bill

[…] project has been posted for a few days and I’ve already incorporated great ideas from Jenny (see my comments to her here) and Maureen. […]

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Jenny – how did you load you header font into your main content on your image assignment? I would like to do that with the font I’ve downloaded, but it Firefox defaults to a font it supports. Did you convert your headers to images?

Comment by John Lillard

Ok Jenny, so I talk more about this on my blog post for today, but I think your point about designing for people who don’t think like you or I do and who don’t like the same things as you or I is right on the money. And, to further that point, it seems to me that simplicity in design and usability and, honestly, just not taking too many risks in terms of aesthetics seem to be the way to go. Am I reading too much into what Krug said because that is the ONLY way I can design, simply and easily?

Now, does that fly in the face of what we have been learning so far this semester is my question?

Comment by sscott4

[…] My Comments on Jenny’s Blog   […]

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