The goal of this assignment is to apply your knowledge of visualization fundamentals to data visualizations that you find “in the field.” Each week four students will perform a design critique, which we will discuss online via Piazza.
For your critique, find an interesting visualization from one of the following (example) types of sources:
- Science magazine (Nature, Science, Scientific American, …)
- Magazine (Time, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, …)
- Newspaper (NY Times, USA Today, The Economists, …)
You are not allowed to use sources where the focus is on visualization (e.g. IEEEVis papers, TVCG entries, and other venues where the topic is primarily vis). For your critique, go to original publication used by practitioners and researchers. Be creative, search for data that is being visualized in potentially unexpected ways—it’s all around us.
Once you have selected your visualization explain the data being shown
(type and semantics) and the visual encodings used—put into words
what the visualization is trying to show. Try to apply the set of
types, models, and categories discussed in class. Next, critique the
visualization: what works and what doesn’t? How do you feel the visual
encoding lends to communicating the data? Is the visualization clear
or is it misleading? Do you like it (or not), and why? What could be
improved? Compose your explanation and critique in at most 3-4 paragraphs and
create a new, public note for it on Piazza. Tag it with the
Format your note’s subject like this:
where XX is the week number (03-12). This should look like:
Finally, each week you are required to actively participate in one of the new threads for that week. Your comments should be thoughtful; a single sentence saying “I like it” is not enough! Do you agree with the critique? If so, why (or, why not)? Did the critique miss anything? Did you learn something new? Please be constructive, not critical. Your peers will be discussing your critique as well!
Be sure to follow:
Submission and Grading
Critiques are due by Wednesday at 11:59pm of the assigned week.
Your grade will be based on how well you describe and critique the visualization you post based on the language and concepts we have covered in class. Additionally, we will check that each class member has commented on a new thread before 11:59pm each Sunday. If you posted a critique for the week you do not need to comment on another critique. However, you should participate in the discussion on your thread; don’t leave a good discussion hanging, especially if there are questions!
Your discussion activity each week will also be counted towards part of the class participation component of your final grade.