Design tools come in all shapes and sizes. There are apps, software, downloadable programs and even websites on the internet that can assist in anything from graph making, mapping applications and even word clouds. I made a really cool one but it doesn’t let you ‘save as’, you can print or put it in the gallery so if you have time check out :
http://www.wordle.net/gallery It was fun! But…I’m going to talk about the very design tool we are using, social media tools! Disclaimer- I’m no social media junkie, I’m not even a social media butterfly but here we all are blogging! This is the latest and greatest tool in marketing and I look at graphic design especially and Information Design as marketing. It’s a way to get the word out and in the case of our blogs it’s a way to tell each other how we do things. (our own instruction manuals) So I don’t have to incorporate it into my blog post it is my post. There are so many social media sites. First it was Facebook and Twitter and now there is Pinterest which from what I can tell is twitter with pictures? (see disclaimer) So I’m noticing the natural gravitation to a picture oriented online world as well. It’s easier to look at a picture than it is to read text. That’s exactly what Roam is getting at with the apple and the local islander, we can bridge language gaps with pictures. Pictures do not come in certain languages. They are universal.
There are also social media sites that help you manage your social media! Which means we use a lot of social media! This is a site that helps people get through the social media jungle they say. http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/22-hot-new-social-media-tools-worth-exploring/ It is amazing to me the things that can be found and done on the internet. Another way social media can be used for information design is by tracking trends and usage of to gather information. We discussed in the last module about the need for gathering information on a client, as well as the potential customers and what better way than tracking social media? Whether it is the client website, Facebook etc or the average customer age base and their use on any of the previously mentioned sites it’s a great information gathering tool.