Cameron Chapman January 15th, 2010

Fantastic Information Architecture and Data Visualization Resources

Information architecture can be a daunting subject for designers who've never tried it before. Also, creating successful infographics and visualizations takes skill and practice, along with some advance planning. But anyone with graphic design skills can learn to create infographics that are effective and get data across in a user-friendly manner. Below are a collection of resources to get you going down the information architecture and data visualization path. Whether you just want to become more familiar with infographics and data visualizations for occasional use or are thinking of making it a career, the resources below will surely come in handy. There are also some beautiful examples and more roundups to see even more fantastic graphics.

1. Information Architecture Design Sites

Information architecture can be so complex, it's no wonder there are entire sites dedicated to it. The sites below range from sites of individual information architects who share resources with their colleagues, to professional organizations, to design sites that include extensive information architecture resources.

Info Design Patterns

infodesignpatterns Info Design Patterns offers up information architecture news (a fairly new section without a lot of content) and a searchable database of info design patterns. The pattern database is particularly useful for those trying to decide how they want to display a set of data to their users or readers. Some of the patterns include:


infodesign InfoDesign is an excellent resource for anyone interested in information architecture. They have hundreds of articles aggregated and broken down into categories including accessibility, content strategy, interaction design, prototyping and more. Articles featured on the site include:

Information Design Watch

informationdesignwatch Information Design Watch from Dynamic Diagrams offers a newsletter and regular articles on information design from around the world. They include tons of great, real-world examples of infographics and information architecture designs, and are a great resource if you're looking for some inspiration. Some of their posts include:

UXBooth - Information Architecture

UX Booth UXBooth is a community blog about usability, user experience and information architecture. The "Information Architecture" section currently contains only three articles, but the quality of each article is always top notch.

Design Crux - Information Design

designcruxinformationdesign Information Design from Design Crux offers up articles on information architecture and design examples. Both are excellent resources, with the examples being particularly inspiring. Some of their articles include:
  • Content Management Strategy, How to Develop The Other CMS
  • Information Work Tactics
  • Information Applied to Graphic Design: Color Psychology

Cool Infographics

coolinfographics Cool Infographics is a blog that collects interesting infographics from around the web and beyond. It's definitely a first-rate resource for finding inspiration and examples of great infographics and information architecture designs. Some recent posts include:

jjgnet offers up resources for experience design and information architecture written by Jesse James Garrett. There are downloadable PDFs, articles, and interviews and other resources included. Some examples of articles included are:

Information Architecture from A List Apart

alistapartinformationarchitecture A List Apart has an excellent Information Architecture category with more than 20 great articles (dating back as far as 2000). Some articles included are:

Boxes and Arrows

boxesandarrows Boxes and Arrows is an excellent blog that explores why designs work and how to design better based on user experience data. Some example posts include:

Information Design from AIGA

aigainformationdesign AIGA has an Information Design section on their website with a dozen articles. While it's not a huge resource, the articles are very high quality and include:

Good Magazine

goodmagazine Good Magazine has an excellent collection of infographics covering a very broad range of topics. This is an excellent resource if you're looking for inspiration. Some examples include:

Flowing Data

flowingdata Flowing Data showcases infographics covering a variety of subjects. They collect graphics from all over the web and explain why the graphic works well. Some example posts include:

2. Information Architecture Articles and Resources

The articles and resources listed below appear on sites that don't focus solely on information architecture. They're as useful as the resources above, but focus on individual aspects of information design. Some excellent beginners guides and tutorials are also included here.

Organic Information Design

organicinformationdesign The Organic Information Design PDF is from Ben Fry, and served as his Master's Thesis at the MIT Media Lab. It introduces a new type of interactive information design using large quanities of data from dynamic sources.

The Information Design Approach to Web Development

infodesignapproachtowebdev This article from Digital Web Magazine offers up a new approach to web development using information design techniques. It's a great resource for both information architects and web developers.

InfoGraphic Designs: Overview, Examples and Best Practices

inforgraphicdesignsoverview This post from instantShift is one of the more comprehensive beginner's guides to information architecture. It includes advice on how to design around a given set of data and offers some amazing examples of successful information design.

Information Architecture Tutorial

informationarchitecturetutorial This is a complete tutorial series from Webmonky on how to create successful information graphics. There are five parts, each addressing a different aspect of information architecture in depth.

Complete Beginners Guide to Information Architecture

beginnersguidetoinfoarchitecture This is another comprehensive article geared toward those just starting out with information architecture and infographics. It includes some background information, links to notable information architects, resources, and links to common tools used in creating infographics.

3. Excellent Examples of Data Visualization

Below are some beautiful examples of infographics to get your creative juices flowing. They cover everything from pop culture (The Best Beer in America, Kill Bill) to political issues (Presidential First 100 Days in Office) to global environmental issues (No More Fish in the Sea, The Great Pacific Garbage Patch). LifeMap lifemap Dentro de la cabeza de Bob Dylan dentrodelacabezadebobdylan Infografias infografias The Best Beer in America bestbeerinamerica Kill Bill Infographic killbillinfographic Suburban Bliss suburbanbliss No More Fish in the Sea nomorefishinthesea The First 100 Days: Roosevelt to Obama first100days Vampire Energy vampireenergy On Driving ondriving Periodic Table of Typefaces periodictableoftypefaces Flickr User Model, v0.3 flickrusermodel How Education Spending Affects Graduation Rates howeducationspendingaffectsgradrates The Most Committed Crimes in the Country themostcommittedcrimes The Great Pacific Garbage Patch greatpacificgarbagepatch

4. Other Roundups

Below are a few more roundups of information graphics and data visualizations. They include tons of great examples to inspire you and give you ideas.

Cameron Chapman

Cameron Chapman is a professional Web and graphic designer with many years of experience. She writes for a number of blogs, including her own, Cameron Chapman On Writing. She’s also the author of Internet Famous: A Practical Guide to Becoming an Online Celebrity.


  1. Thank you, very useful and while our IA, Design and Front-End talent are well versed – I’ve recommended this to account, biz-dev, media and analytics staff as well.

  2. Thanks for the Great Post. Love the visualisations. Also like that Info Arch and Visualisation are presented together as architecture artefacts need to promote communication between all stakeholders and the visualisations provide inspiration to think outside of the modelling languages many IT architects employ

  3. Look! it’s a magnificent building and house layout from Design (Cayman) Ltd. I’m fond of architectural layout like this, it seems really fascinating! You must completely fully grasp what the architectural design is. And it appears Architect designing these patterns are accredited professionals, I do not know what exactly is the expense, lol! Nevertheless, I want to have initiatives on the best way to create basic designs. I am aspiring to become a vivid architectural designer.

  4. May I suggest that you also consider

    Parallel Coordinates – This book is about visualization, systematically incorporating the fantastic human pattern recognition into the problem-solving ……/978-0-387-21507-5

    which is now available. It contains an easy to read chapter (10) on Data Mining. Among others, I received a wonderful compliment from Stephen Hawking who also recommended this “valuable book” to his students.

    Alfred Inselberg, Professor
    School of Mathematical Sciences
    Tel Aviv University

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