Information Horizons

A UX method that helps understand how people work with information sources and their information behavior by mapping and prioritizing these sources from the users' perspective.


Information Horizons is a research approach that explores how people seek, gather, and use information in various contexts. By mapping information sources, pathways, and barriers, it provides insights into information behavior, decision-making, and learning processes. Information Horizons is valuable in library and information science, education, and user research, where understanding how individuals navigate information landscapes can guide design, education, and information literacy efforts.

Suitable for

  • mapping the information sources that people use to solve a particular problem,
  • prioritizing information sources,
  • visualizing and modeling people's information behaviour.


Interview Protocol

A document containing the set of questions and guidelines for the user interviews. It serves as a reference for the researcher to ensure that all relevant topics are covered during the interviews while maintaining consistency across all participants.

Participant Recruitment Plan

A plan outlining how and where participants will be recruited to participate in the research process. This plan should include a target number of participants, their demographics, screening criteria, and any incentives that will be given to encourage participation.

Information Horizons Map

A visualization of the information resources and pathways, including digital and non-digital sources, that users access to complete a specific task. It provides insights into the information-seeking behavior of users, their preferred resources, and any potential gaps or opportunities in the information landscape.

Data Analysis & Synthesis

The process of compiling, organizing, and categorizing the data collected during the research to uncover trends, patterns, and key insights. This may include coding transcripts, creating affinity diagrams, or using various qualitative data analysis tools.

Insights and Recommendations Report

A summary of the key findings from the Information Horizons research, along with actionable recommendations for design and content improvements. The report should highlight areas of opportunity to optimize user experience and address any gaps identified in the information-seeking journey.

Research Presentation

A presentation that communicates the insights gathered from the Information Horizons research to stakeholders and team members. This presentation should provide a high-level overview of the process, key findings, and recommendations, as well as any visualizations or artifacts created during the research.



Define Research Goals

Start by establishing clear objectives for the research. These goals will provide direction for the study's focus and outline the information needs of the participants.


Identify Participants

Select representative participants, considering the target audience and user groups. It is essential to choose users who are likely to use or to be affected by the product or service being studied.


Prepare Interview Guide

Design an interview guide containing open-ended questions that allow participants to express their thoughts and opinions. This guide should include questions about the participants' information needs, resources they use or may need, and their navigation strategies.


Conduct Interviews

Carry out in-depth, semi-structured interviews with the selected participants, following the interview guide, and encouraging them to provide detailed answers. This step helps gather data about users' perceptions, preferences, and experiences.


Transcribe Interviews

Convert the recorded interviews into text format. This transcription process helps researchers analyze and review interview data more efficiently, enabling them to identify patterns, trends, and insights.


Analyze Data

Carefully analyze the transcribed interviews to identify common themes, patterns, and issues. This step includes categorizing and coding data to highlight important ideas and concepts associated with participants' information horizons.


Create Information Horizon Maps

Based on the analyzed data, construct visual representations of the participants' information horizons. These maps illustrate the relationships between different information sources, their importance for users, and users' strategies for finding and using information.


Interpret Findings

Examine the information horizon maps and other data analysis results to gain insights into users' information-seeking behavior, preferences, and needs. Address the research objectives defined at the beginning of the study and draw informed conclusions.


Apply Insights

Use the findings from the information horizons research to inform UX design decisions and strategies. Develop solutions and improvements that address identified user needs and expectations to enhance the overall user experience of the product or service.


Share Results

Present the findings and insights from the study to the relevant stakeholders, such as the design team members, product managers, and other decision-makers. This step facilitates effective communication, collaboration, and informed decision-making.



2 hours or more


paper, writing supplies, post-its


1 researcher, 10 or more participants


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