Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Using a Flowchart in Information Design

     A flowchart is a diagram which can tell us how something is done is a process where even numerous steps are involved. In order to begin with a flowchart, you must have a defined problem, as well as at least one defined solution. 

Let's Look More Closely

     I have a defined problem. I need to know how an Empire State College student puts together a blog posting for Information Design class. I also have one defined solution, which is that a student should read the instructor commentary, the course text, and the blog assignment instructions and incorporate them into a creative process to create a blog posting. My flowchart to illustrate this process is below. 

   More Examples 

     I have flowchart of the feedback loop involved in the blog creation process in the course in my last posting. But even the process of creating the blog in its entirety has a framework behind it. This flowchart shows a more detailed depiction of blog creation for Information Design class at Empire State College. 

How can a Flowchart be used in Information Design?

     When working on an information design project, all of our components should follow some logical framework. The flowchart, as a tool to answer questions pertaining to how something is done can be incorporated directly into a piece of designed information to illustrate a process, or it can be used to develop a more language-based piece of designed information. In other words, once we have all our pieces of the flowchart puzzle, we can more easily describe the details of a process. 


  1. As an Engineer, I have to point out that your flowchart, especially the top one, is a little incomplete and using incorrect elements.

    The decisions being binary (Yes/No) should have two paths out, one of "Yes" and one for "No". They should also be offset rhombuses, or "diamonds". If you've done this to challenge our expectations and way of thinking, Bravo! I applaud you.

    As for the rest of your content, I have to say that it's well thought out and presented well.

    Scott G.

  2. Hi;
    I like the design of your blog and the colors you selected. The darker, solid background really holds interest and avoids distractions. The white text is crisp on top of the darker background. The colors used in your visuals are also very complimentary.

    I liked your process and felt that essentially you walked us through your thoughts and design concept, along with describing and supporting your content. I think Scott’s point is well-taken, and although I am not sure I would have picked up on the same elements as did, the label of your chart as a flow chart perhaps was the not the most accurate descriptor. Essentially, you created a mind map, a visual of your own design processes that you went thorough while creating your post. I think I would have over looked the label and read the charts as your own mind map. As Scott points out, we are all prone to interpret information differently based on our life experiences and influences. I appreciate Scott pointing that out and think he made an excellent comment and reminded me of the difference in users and our audience.

    The heading and labels you used are good delineators of the topic changes and content development. I like that you did not change colors although that is my tendency. I think your color scheme worked well together and since the post is essentially a walk-through of the process I think keeping it all the same correlated it all together.

    Great post, I really enjoyed it and it got me thinking.

    Lisa Pimpinella

  3. The elements within this piece have been arranged by colored geometric shapes such as ovals, rectangles and squares. The shapes have strong lines and angles. Movement is directed by the lines, contrasting shapes and colors within the design. The overall value of high contrast of light and dark is depicted by the graphs which convey a sense of balance and harmony. While low contrast of the outer frame creates a different feeling. There is directional movement of a visual flow through the design as it suggests motion. The user moves from one shape to the next with the help of arrows.

    The designer is concerned with the elements and principles of art and design as shapes and color are the focal points. The purpose and message of this work is to show the simplicity of organizing information in a visual format such as, a flowchart to relay its message. The title, “Using a Flowchart in Information Design” provides specific clues to the meaning of the work. The designer conveys personal experiences through her work as she speaks from experience, being a student, and how she creates a posting for a class blog.

    The chosen elements create a symbolic link to flowcharts and the easy readability. A rhythm is created by repetition of the geometric shapes. Space is depicted through the design by using warm colors except for the center of attention a “Join this site” button which is colored blue and was the first thing I noticed. Another element that seems important is the usage of lines which are created by color.

    The art movements that might have inspired this designer are Impressionism, which tries to capture an immediate visual interpretation by using color rather than lines or Abstract Expressionism, which emphasized form and color. If I had to choose a title for this piece, I would name it, “The problem solving flowchart.”

    The quality of the message does not need improving as the work succeeds in conveying a clear concept of simplicity in the process of a flowchart. There are not multiple meanings in the message and I believe that the designer conveyed her message in an easy and understandable graph. The designer has accomplished what she set out to do.

    This was a good example of how to use flowcharts. I liked the end of the first graph depicting a win-win-win situation in the process and conclusion of completing a blog.

    Good job!!!
    Danelle Wolfe