INF2306H Special Topics in Information Studies: Designing for Knowledge Work

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Broadly speaking, the design of information resources encompasses a large range of human activities, from entertainment to commerce, from immersion in social media to solitary exploration of a topic. Designing for knowledge work (DKW), however, is specifically concerned with facilitating finding, reading, learning, knowing, and sharing information as part of workplace activities where information and knowledge use are central. DKW can be examined at the level of the individual, the group, and the organization itself. At the level of the individual, central topics include understanding human cognition, from reading performance to decision-making, and implications for textual and graphical information displays. At the level of the group, the use of tools for communication, information sharing, and decision support are central topics; intranets, corporate portals, enterprise information portals, and even ‘website’ are all different names given to the tools for collaborative knowledge work. At the level of the organization, central topics include information culture, organizational structure, and computing infrastructure.