Sense-making is a powerful tool for many applications, including the design of information. It's power lies in its' ability to anticipate roadblocks for the human being, and eliminate them. It analyzes the position of the person, the position of the outside force or entity, and seeks to make a clear channel for usefulness and understanding between the two.
One pitfall of sense-making is that it can never really end. If we are living in a reality lacking order and seek to create order, our work can never be finished. Additionally, any model of such a theory is very abstract, and cannot be easily used by all types of thinkers.
Sense making can be used in the blog environment by bridging gaps between human action, human understanding, and human action after the understanding is incorporated into his or her world. For instance, since the goal of this blog post is to describe the theory of sense-making and its' usefulness in information design, a great achievement hereafter would be for a reader to pick up a pen and put himself in a situation, identify the blocks between his goals and himself, and devise a plan for dissolving those blocks. Once the situation is outlined on paper, we have the theory of sense-making in information design put into action.
Please bear with me as we change gears...
The above example is one of sense-making. When asking and answering the questions involved in this man's trip to the university, the reader understands the details of the situation. One could also devise from this example that the university may have failed to provide necessary information to the man when sending his bill pertaining to the upcoming changes in policy. Sense-making would have the goal to guide the man through the university, and allow him to pay his bill in an uncomplicated manner. If the man had nothing with him but his checkbook, he couldn't pay his bill and thus there was a gap between this man and resolving the situation that sense-making could address.
Sense-making in the context of information design asks the same sorts of questions. The who, what, why, and how of the situation are what will guide our information design. And if we leave our information-users confused at the end of our information presentation, we haven't made sense to them, have we? As information designers using the sense-making approach we have to be wary of communication glitches, inadequate information, navigation of information, and most importantly what blocks stand in the way of our information being presented effectively, and how to make the transition from data on a sheet to useful information in any given circumstance in the most effective way possible.