I couldn't find a suitable answer to the question. I was hoping if you could point out the difference between information design and usability? Or is it the same?

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    The never ending battle of the terms. Terminology is very subjective so different people will interpret it differently. For example, I can say that this term is actually information architecture, not information design. But does it actually matter? Jan 10, 2017 at 10:38

1 Answer 1



  • Information design - presenting information in a most effective and efficient way which allows the user to understand it better.
  • Usability - the interface allows quick and accurate task completion

See the adapted Maslow's hierarchy for UX to see where these two things lie:

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As you can see Information is something that falls into the category of basic needs. If you don't cover the basic needs of a user, your product will fail pretty fast. The word design is just a way to say that there is a set of activities that need to be done in order to satisfy the need for information. For example depending on whether or not you have chosen the proper font style and size it may improve or worsen the user's ability to understand the provided information. Another example is the structure of the information - if it's chaotic (poorly structured, inconsistent etc.) the user will get frustrated.

Usability on the other hand is something "extra". It's a higher order need and it is not that crucial. However if you have product X and Y with both covering the basic needs, the one that also covers the higher oder needs will win over the one that doesn't.

Obviously presenting the information in a proper way is part of the usability thing. If the information is incorrect, unreadable etc. it is highly unlikely that the interface will allow quick and accurate task completion. ;)

  • You're welcome. Btw when it comes to information do note that it's not just the text or images your UI has. Information design relies on information theory and I strongly recommend you to learn about it. For example Fitts's law is a very popular way for determining the placement and size of UI components. Jan 10, 2017 at 11:34

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