Assignment 2

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Assignment 2

Assignment 2: Sketching & Storytelling

Based on your project research questions, in this assignment, you need to sketch (with only pen and paper) 3 visualizations to clearly communicate this question or help other people to explore the data according to your questions.

Part 1: Design Workshop

As we said in class, the best way to come up with a good idea is to have lots of them and narrow them down. Your task in this assignment is to brainstorm many designs and then use some basic criteria to filter and select the best ideas. You will then hand in a polished version of the final designs that you chose.

The goal of this exercise is to show you that if you have an open mind, your first idea is (unlikely) to be your best idea. Instead, the process of brainstorming, discussing, and affinity diagramming can help you find good ideas that you had not considered before.

  • Based on the research question, start by brainstorming within your group and designing static visualizations that you think effectively answer the question. The goal here is to sketch as many distinct ideas as you can -- you should aim for at least four sketches a person.

Anything goes: crazy or boring, the whole system or even just a small piece of the system. You are aiming here for variance: the ideas should be different from one another. You are allowed to build off of one another's ideas, but make sure that they're different. If you end up with a bunch of sketches that are essentially variations on the exact same idea, try again, because you didn't do it right.

  • Discussion. This can be part of your brainstorming session or a different one altogether. As a group, go through each of the sketches one by one, discussing the main idea of the sketch. Group your sketches or the ideas extracted from the sketches. At the end of this, you will have several different groups of ideas. Discuss each of these groups in relation to your project, their weaknesses, strengths, feasibility, and originality.
  • Select and polish ideas. From your discussion session, select the most promising ideas and discuss them.
    • Go through all the sketches one by one within your group and discuss the main idea of each sketch. Group your sketches or the ideas extracted from the sketches. At the end of this, you will have several different groups of ideas. Discuss each of these groups in relation to your project, their weaknesses, strengths, feasibility, and originality.
    • From the discussion session, select and polish the most promising ideas. Then, Re-sketch your most promising ideas each neatly on a piece of paper, and provide a short writeup describing your process and design decisions.

Your final sketches should be self-contain. People who are not familiar with your dataset should be able to understand them from the sketches alone. Please don't forget to include enough description for viewers to understand the context of your dataset and your tasks.

Final Sketch

For your final sketch (both individual and the final sketch of the team), you will follow the five-sheet design methodology structure:

Submission for Part 1

What to submit

Each person needs to submit one sketch and use that sketch for brainstorming to come up with the final version of the visualization sketch for the team.

  • Take pictures or scan your entire sketch(es). Please make sure that the quality of the sketch is readable.
  • If you use handwriting for the writing parts, you will also include the type version of all the writings in the file.
  • Do not include any team name or person's name on the final sketches and texts.

How to submit

In this assignment, you will submit two sketches: 1) your own sketch and 2) the final sketch of your team after the brainstorming. For the team sketch, one person can submit it once for the entire team.

The file must be in PDF file and must be named "A2_[Your name or your team name].pdf". Each file will be submitted separately on the Edunao platform.

When to submit The first part of the assignment 2 is due before March 15, 2023, 23:59.

Part 2: Evaluation

We will use the peer-review to give constructive feedback on the visualization sketches in this part. You will take part in grading and, most importantly, provide feedback on your classmates' projects.

Submission for Part 2

  1. Each student is assigned to review three anonymous sketches in this Google Sheet. You can access the sketch you are assigned in this folder.
  2. For each project, fill out your evaluation in the Edunao platform. The form includes the grading criteria below and some write-ups to provide feedback on your classmates' projects.
  3. The deadline to submit your review is March 22, 2023, 23:59

Grading criteria





Mark, Encoding, and Data Transforms

All design choices are effective. The visualization can be read and understood effortlessly.

Design choices are largely effective, but minor errors hinder comprehension.

Ineffective mark, encoding, or data transformation choices are distracting or potentially misleading.

Titles & Labels

Titles and labels helpfully describe and contextualize the visualization.

Most necessary titles and labels are present, but they could provide more context.

Many titles or labels are missing, or do not provide human-understandable information.

Design Rationale

Well crafted write-up provides reasoned justification for all design choices.

Most design decisions are described, but rationale could be explained at a greater level of detail.

Missing or incomplete. Several design choices.

Creativity & Originality

You exceeded the parameters of the assignment, with original insights or a particularly engaging design.

You met all the parameters of the assignment.

You met most of the parameters of the assignment.

Points for this assignment

20 points (10 points from the instructors, 7 points from peer-review, and 3 points for the quality of your review)

Acknowledgment: The assignment is created based on Visual Analytics course by Petra Isenberg and Interactive Data Visualization course by Arvind Satyanarayan.

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