Making Information Valuable
It wasn’t that long ago that people valued information. I remember growing up and wishing my parents had the money to buy me a set of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Nowadays people value their time way more than information. I’m probably over simplifying it, but its basic economics really – time is fixed and you can’t make any more of it. Information on the other hand is becoming more abundant and more accessible. That means its economic value is declining – supply goes up, cost goes down.
I will not be delivering any kind of piercing insight by telling you that people today are starved for time and don’t pay attention to things like they used to. They scan rather than read webpages and astonishingly rely on Google and Wikipedia to answer all of their questions. As legions of people strive to multitask and do more with less, businesses, educators, politicians and every day people struggle to get their message heard.
At the same time information has become essential to modern life. Despite a systematic attention deficit, people will stop and listen if you have something that is worth knowing. When you have the opportunity to communicate with your audience, you can increase its worth by following my formula for making information valuable.
Our company, our work and our approach is based on these fundamental beliefs:
The full value of information is realized when it is:
1. Skillfully written so it is impactful and concise.
2. Presented so that it uses pictures, diagrams and numbers instead of text whenever possible.
3. Well organized so the information has a logical organization system, clear labels and relevant taxonomies.
4. Graphically designed to the point where the artwork engages its audience delivering a visually pleasing graphical experience.
5. Intuitive to navigate so it is both easy and fun to use, and helps the reader accomplish their goals.
6. Findable, so readers can discover the information they need because of a well thought out navigation scheme and search optimization.
7. Available, on-demand in a place that is accessible to its audience.