An information design is usually described as a description or blueprint for the creation of a structure or object, the output of which is a functional or complete system, product, etc., or the culmination of that blueprint or description in the form of an example, product or procedure. The word ‘information’ in relation to this field is usually defined as having knowledge of how something works, in other words, knowing how an object functions. In the context of information design, therefore, the word ‘design’ refers to the method by which knowledge is produced. The verb ‘design’ in relation to this field denotes the direction of its production. In other words, information design can be thought of as a methodology (a methodology in the broadest sense of the term, which is directed toward the development of knowledge) and knowledge is the resultant of methodology.
Info design is one of the most important aspects of today’s information society. The subject of information technology – i.e., the field of computer science, engineering and related fields – has an enormous scope, as do the number of topics and areas with which it deals. In addition, because the Internet itself is vast, and because the information it provides – both collect and transmit it – is not private, neither is the information which users have access to and which they must provide to others, unless the user agrees to permit some or all of that information to be released (sometimes called ‘public information’) hereinafter referred to as ‘personal information’.
Information technology and the information technologies used by companies and organizations that use it have become so sophisticated that some of their characteristics – such as’secrecy’and’ownership’ are antifashionable. But there are also some characteristics of these technologies themselves, which are antifashionable, i.e., if they do not serve the purpose they were created for, they can be de-purposeful. For example, certain information technology organizations that handle email communication as a service, and certain aspects of social networking websites as well, do not really serve the need for secrecy which is required in certain business transactions. They are economically successful enough, and they make a profit which covers their costs, while they continue to provide the service (by meeting some of the user’s needs, without necessarily meeting the members of the ‘clique’ who want to keep certain things secret). But they don’t have any more ‘personal’ qualities than a free-market society has, and they can’t claim to speak for everyone’s private and confidential information any more than the government can.