Visual information design is concerned with the visualization of data, content, and navigation, rather than interactive functions. It is distinguished from information design in that it is less concerned with the content’s editorial and information architecture issues, focusing instead on the graphical presentation. This skill set is particularly important in designing data-intensive applications, where users spend much of their time with complex content. The primary goal of visual information design is to present data in a way that promotes understanding.
This is accomplished by controlling the information hierarchy through the use of visual properties such as typography, colour, shape, position, and scale, as well as how these attributes change over time. It can also include micro interactions with information displays that expose details or connections to additional information. Common applications of visual information design include charts, graphs, sparklines, and other means of displaying quantitative information.