I really enjoyed reading “Understanding comics: the invisible art” by McCloud. One specific concept regarding comics that I feel can be applied to information architecture is “Amplification through simplification”. This concept as described in the reading says that by simplifying the presentation of complex information, we can direct the focus of the reader to specific details. This can be extended to information architecture in general and user experience. To give a better user experience to the user, depending upon the context, there should be a balance between information conveyed at one time versus conveying specific and lesser information effectively. For example, when I think about airports, if I land and I need to go to the baggage claim, I would be lost easily if the entire map of the airport is shown to me at once. Instead at airports, the information is divided into pieces and guides me as I walk which makes navigation so much easier. This also ties in well with what Johnson has explained in “Designing with the mind in mind”. The information we perceive is influenced by our past, present and our goals. In the airport I am able to navigate to baggage claim and ignore other information, as that’s the goal in mind when I look at the interface. I am also able to understand the signs and symbols because of my past experience.
This is an example of Goal directed design (Cooper et al) in the physical space of the airport.
In the reading “How language works” by Hinton, the author has presented the concept of Signification conflation (page 136). The author says “Its only through thinking objectively about the whole system that we understand how something is actually working rather than how we immediately perceive it. In the systems we design, it’s the designers’ responsibility to do that work as much as possible so that the user does not have to” I feel that this is at the heart of interaction design and information architecture. While designing for complex interfaces, it is very important to convey to the user how the system works, the business rules involved but also in a way that it causes least cognitive load on the user.