Bachelor of Communication — Information Design
Information design (ID) involves gathering and understanding, collaborating and engaging, planning and organizing, writing and design. It is content-driven and contextually-dependent, while remaining in the service of those who will become the information’s users: individuals and communities.
We are theory-driven to solve data and knowledge problems. We prioritize efficiency, effectiveness, understanding, and aesthetic quality, while engaging appropriate emotional values.
We are not driven by technology: its promises and limitations; but we do have the skills and knowledge to leverage what ever output is most appropriate to address individual and community needs.
The Mount Royal University Information Design Program has graduated Information Designers since 2012. We are the only program of its kind in Canada.
Our grads work as graphic designers, information architects, web designers, content specialists, technical writers, and UX specialists. They work for not-for-profit organizations, large and small business, oil and gas, healthcare, transportation, and government agencies. They complete graduate studies and own businesses. Their unique ability to translate complicated information into simple terms makes our grads an invaluable resource to employers.Thinking Through Making; Making With Thinking.
Learn More about ID What is Information Design?
Information design is the defining, planning, and shaping of content and its environments with the intention of achieving particular objectives in relation to human needs.
What Does an Information Designer Do?
The information designer is a problem solver and story teller. All of the work they do asks the questions: Who is the audience for my work? What is its content? What are the most effective ways to convey information? Data is central to the work of the information designer. The form it takes (both written and aesthetic) must be in the service of honest, responsible, and intentional depiction.
An information designer:
- Thinks innovatively and systematically
- Is capable of becoming well informed about diverse subject matters
- Can think about the big picture, consider details, and spot connections and interrelationships
- Is familiar with the technical requirements of communications media
- Is educated on human communication capabilities: perception, cognitive processing, and response to information
- Considers the potential benefits of the communicated information to the users
- Understands the capabilities of support sciences; such as cognitive psychology, linguistics, social and political sciences, computer science, and statistics; and is able to co-operate with specialists
- Has detailed knowledge of the cost factors relating to the various design stages and their implementation
- Is both a collaborative and an independent learner
- Behaves in a responsible manner with regard to the needs of people, their communities, and society as a whole.
Things You Should Know Information Designers are (1) able to think both innovatively and systematically, (2) as well informed as is necessary about the subject area they are working in, and (3) knowledgeable about the communicative features of the components of visual messages and the interrelationships between those components.
Our faculty interview every applicant who has met MRU’s entrance criteria. During the intake interviews, our questions identify the traits and attributes of successful learners in our -- rigorous -- program of study. During the question and answer session, applicants are provided with FAQs and curriculum descriptions, and briefed with respect to the history and the character of the program. We aim to help our applicants know more about us, so they can make a well-informed decision of whether to become part of the ID program.
Once they are accepted into the ID program, our students must complete four types of courses:
- General education courses -- taken with students from across programs and disciplines
- Electives -- based on each student’s interests
- Communication courses -- taken with students from other programs within the School of Communication Studies (Public Relations, Journalism, and Broadcasting)
- Information Design courses -- specific and restricted to students in our program.
- Courses specific to ID are small in enrollment, carefully sequenced, and given focused attention by our full and part time faculty. ID students pass through a program of study that is both laddered and scaffolded, with subsequent courses continuing, building upon, or develop anew, terms, concepts, practices, and skill-sets, acquired in prior courses.
All students in the BCMM – Information Design program are required to purchase a laptop computer. Full details about the program and the hardware and software recommendations are available here.
Experience Beyond the Classroom
In the second year of their course of study our students participate in work terms among firms and companies local to Calgary. These are paid positions. They are placed in their positions with the assistance of the University. Jobs in the past have included instructional design, digital designers, e-learning assistants, and usability intern.
Our students learn how to explain, show, and demonstrate what they can do. We emphasize the development of portfolios for every year of our four year program. The portfolio objects serve as student-centred assessment tools, as grounds for self-reflection, and as grounds for the assessment of the program and its various courses. They also help prepare our students for their work terms and successful employment after graduation.