Due Date: Oct 15 (23:55)

Critiquing a visualization

The use of visualization is pervasive in the media: explanatory diagrams in magazines and textbooks, graphs describing statistics and budgets, images showing spatial layouts of objects, new experimental data plotted against theoretical expectations, etc. In each case, the author of the visualization tries to convey a point of view by emphasizing some aspects of the data while toning down other aspects. The result can vary widely, from informative to misleading. What do you think, how did you and your peers do on your first homework? Can you apply the design principles we talked about in class?


Your task is to now critique the visualizations created for assignment 1. For this purpose, you will be randomly assigned an A1 visualization created by one of your peers. Apply the knowledge of design principles to identify pros and cons of the visualization design that was assigned to you. Try to challenge design decisions and ask “why” about any aspect of the design. Keep in mind that it is important to write about which aspects of the visualization you believe effectively communicates the data, as well as those that you think could be further improved. Your overall write-up should be 2-3 pages long.

As different visualizations can emphasize different aspects of a data set, you should try to identify what aspects of the data were most effectively communicated. What story (or stories) did the designers try to tell you? Just as important, also note which aspects of the data might have been obscured or down-played due to this visualization design.

Please note that this critique will be a very different write-up compared to what you did for assignment 1. Assignment 1 asked you to explain your own reasoning process in coming up with the visualizations. In this assignment, you should reflect and constructively critique someone else's approach.

Understanding the data and evaluating the visualization may take some time. So plan accordingly. Also try to apply the design recommendations discussed in class and our readings. Please feel free to include alternative visualization prototypes (using your favorite tool) as a way to illustrate your critique.


Please find the link for which dashboard you have to review in this list.

Procedure and Submission

Please submit a PDF-document (2-3 pages) containing

Submit the file via Moodle. Use the following naming scheme for your submission: "matrikelnumber_A2.pdf".

Late submission

Late Submissions are possible, you have a total of two grace days for all three assignments (A1, A2, and A3). After these days are used up, remaining assignments must be submitted on time.

Academic Honesty