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Design Critiques - Rules

Critiques are due on Thursdays and discussions are due by the following Sunday.

In this course you will learn about basic visualization design principles and guidelines. The goal of this assignment is to apply your knowledge to visualizations you find. Each week several students will post a design critique on this bulletin board. You are responsible to post one design critique during the semester and to actively participate in a discussion of a new critique each week.

For online discussions, please read the following: netiquette

For your critique, find an interesting visualization from one of the following types of sources:

  • textbook
  • science magazine (Nature, Science, Scientific American, ...)
  • magazine or newspaper (Newsweek, The Economist, NY
    Times, USA Today, ...)
You may not use papers or textbooks on visualization. Go to original sources used by practitioners and researchers. For this assignment, please do not use examples pulled from the web except from sites in the above categories.

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. Next, critique the visualization: what works and what doesn't? 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 3-4 paragraphs and post your text and visualization in a new thread. Please format your thread title like this:

Week 4: (insert title of the visualization you're critiquing)

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!


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