In this week’s lab, we will focus on design alternatives for visualizations. For this assignment, we will not use the computer. Instead we will work with pen and paper.
The goals of this lab are:
- Explore multiple ways to represent a given data set
- Consider the different tasks supported by different visualisations
- Use sketches to explore design alternatives
For this exercise, we will work individually using the following data set. These data are taken from the results of a psychology paper, for which the authors asked students to rate how appropriate various behaviors were in various situations Price & Bouffard (1974). This data set shows the mean ratings for each behavior-situation combination. A score of 0 means a behavior is extremely inappropriate; a score of 9 means a behavior is extremely appropriate in that situation. So if you take a look at your data set, you can see in the first row and column that the students gave running in class a mean score of 2.52, so it’s not too appropriate.Let’s get started.
Design exploration (60 minutes)
Working individually using paper and pencils, sketch as many different representations of the above data as you can think of within the allotted time. Ideally, you will have at least 10 completely different representations. The goal here is to come up with many ways of showing the same data. You will be graded based on the number of different designs that you come up with and on your originality.
How you draw the data is up to you. There is no such thing as a wrong design here. The idea is to think about what might be interesting about the data and draw them in a way that helps you explore that. It may help you to think about connections between different parts of the data, ways to group the data, similarities or differences in the data, interesting patterns, surprising findings, or really anything else that comes to mind as you look at the data.
Remember: sketches (esquisses en français) are about quickly conveying the idea of what it is you’re trying to show. They should be clear to read, but they do not need to be perfectly faithful to the data. You probably don’t need to use a ruler or perfectly calculate proportions and such. You also do not need to show all the data here. The data themselves are not all that important. What we care about here is the idea of the representation.
If you prefer working with a tablet and stylus (and you have one), you may use that instead of paper and pencil as long as it’s consistent with the idea of sketching.
When you have finished this part of the assignment, scan (or take a photo with your pocket computer) and upload it to eCampus.
This is a peer-graded assignment. Once all assignments have been submitted, you’ll then evaluate the work of your peers. To validate this assignment, you will need to both submit your design explorations and evaluate those of some of your peers. Because of the way the peer-grading system works, no late assignments can be accepted.
Based on assignments by Marti Hearst, Tamara Munzner, Alex Endert, Jagoda Walny, Samuel Huron, and Sheelagh Carpendale. Data from Price & Bouffard (1974) via Walny, Huron, and Carpendale (EuroVis 2015). Ideation worksheet by Sean McKenna, Alexander Lex and Miriah Meyer from PDV ’17. This assignment is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License.