What Is an Information Designer?

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Explore a career as an information designer and the daily responsibilities you may face. Discover the necessary skills, potential salary, job outlook, and tips on how to start down this exciting career path.

[Featured Image] An information designer works on a project from her desk in her home office.

Information designers present information to an audience in a visually appealing, easy-to-understand manner. In addition to being able to create designs, information designers understand what kinds of design (such as a pie chart, table, or timeline) a specific audience might need. While many companies hire information designers for digital projects, these designers might also work on printed publications and store, museum, or trade show displays.

Why is information design important?

You can find information design everywhere. Consider the owner's manual in your car, the fire escape poster in the breakroom at work, the historical guideposts along your favorite hiking trail, and the DIY videos you watch on the weekends. By clarifying information with an appealing design and a simple story, information design offers many benefits, including the following:

  • Giving an audience greater accessibility to information

  • Getting and holding a viewer's attention

  • Providing a more pleasant audience learning experience

  • Keeping an audience up to date on important trends

  • Increasing audience engagement

  • Improving audience decision-making

What does an information designer do?

In this position, you'll develop content to communicate information to an audience. To develop effective content, you should know your audience and understand how consumers respond to different types of information.

To communicate your message in a digital or print format, you'll use design elements like color, imagery, shape, space, texture, and type to create various infographics. Examples of infographics you might create include:

  • Comparisons

  • Flowcharts

  • How-to guides

  • Lists

  • Maps

  • Pie charts

  • Tables 

  • Timelines

Daily tasks and responsibilities

As an information designer, you might work for an editor, a manager, or different clients. Knowing what you might do on a daily basis helps you understand more about information design. 

  • Consider the needs of the client and plan the message to display.

  • Analyze information and decide how to present it clearly.

  • Research the best methods for creating a design.

  • Plan layouts for displays using imagery and artwork.

  • Create design wireframes and prototypes.

  • Engage in usability testing to get design feedback.

  • Make changes to designs based on feedback.

  • Use various design tools to create visuals.

  • Create designs according to a schedule. 

  • Present design proofs to managers and clients.

  • Work alone or with a design team.

Important information designer skills

Building a successful career in this job requires a mix of technical and workplace skills. These skills might help you perform better on the job.

Technical skills

Technical skills involve abilities that help you complete specific work-related tasks. Technical skills that might help you with your work as an information designer include the following:

  • Business knowledge

  • Data analytics abilities

  • Graphic design skills

  • Familiarity with typography

  • Research skills

  • Web programming 

  • Writing and editing skills

Workplace skills

Workplace skills involve abilities that help you work with other people, and they transfer to almost any job. For an information designer position, these might include:

  • Analytical skills

  • Attention to detail

  • Collaboration

  • Communication

  • Creativity

  • Organization

  • Time management

Information designer education and training

To improve your chances of becoming an information designer, it helps to have an education and training strategy. Consider completing the following steps:

1. Get a bachelor's degree.

Many information designers benefit from a bachelor's degree. You may opt to pursue your degree in information design specifically, or you can pursue a bachelor’s in another subject. Common degrees earned by information designers include:

  • Advertising

  • Communication

  • Computer science

  • Digital design

  • English

  • Graphic design

  • Journalism

2. Take extra courses or enroll in certificate programs.

Extra courses or certificate programs might help advance your information designer skills. To boost your market potential, you might consider courses or certificate programs in:

3. Apply for an internship.

An internship in information design can offer practical workplace experience. To find an internship in your area, follow these suggestions:

  • Check online job sites.

  • Attend local job fairs.

  • Check with your college or university career center.

  • Call the job service center in your city.

  • Get in touch with your professional network on social media.

  • Call local businesses directly.

Information designer salary and job outlook

Currently, the Occupational Outlook Handbook from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't contain employment data for information design. However, it does contain data for similar professions like graphic design, digital design, and web development.

According to the BLS, the median annual salary for graphic designers is $57,990. BLS predicts the number of graphic design jobs will grow by about 3 percent from 2022 to 2032 [1].

The median annual salary for digital designers and web developers comes to $80,730 per year, according to BLS. Additionally, BLS predicts the number of jobs for this group to grow by about 16 percent from 2022 to 2032 [2].

Getting started on Coursera

To build a good foundation for an information design career, consider taking the Effective Communication: Writing Design and Presentation Specialization on Coursera offered by the University of Colorado Boulder. This highly-reviewed specialization covers topics such as business writing, graphic design, presentation, and more. 

If you commit to 10 hours per week, you should complete the four-course series in about two months. When you're finished, you'll earn a special career certificate to post on your social media profile, add to your resume, or hang on your office wall.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Article sources


US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Occupational Outlook Handbook: Graphic Designers, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/graphic-designers.htm." Accessed December 19, 2023.

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