Information Overload or Organization Underload

Simple Design, Intense Content introduced us to Edward Tufte.

Tufte’s notable talent:  communicating highly complex analytical data in an accessible presentation.  His principles can also be extended to website design.

The relevance of Tufte’s principles was to me to illustrate how much structured information can be compressed if we aren’t limited to cookie-cutter approaches.  However, that implies a tremendous creative effort at least by a few individuals to process and compress information in innovative ways.

Tufte teaches that Information Overload is due to Organization Underload.  An example of this is the number of dimensions one utilizes to structure a design.  In a past post I used this graphic (click to see enlarged):


What I was trying to convey was that there are generic multidimensional strategies well beyond a bipolar organization such as form and function.  One of those strategies is the basic interrogatives which I presented as follows:


Instead of a bipolar organization we have a hexapolar organization.  We are able to take the interaction we are trying to achieve and consider it from a more diverse number of focuses.  This refines our website design by filtering out unnecessary goals, data, processes, browsers, events and audiences and enabling us to enhance what remains. 

If your website is still too complex it may be necessary to consider a duodecapolar (12 focus) organization, but that is outside the scope of this post.  However, I do recommend exploring Faceted Classification.

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