Course Description

Information visualization skills are in high demand, partly thanks to the rise in big data. Tech research giant Gartner Inc. declared that almost half of all companies invested in big data in 2016, predicting that a further 25% planned to invest in the next 2 years1. With the ever-increasing amount of information being gathered and analyzed, there’s an increasing need to present data in meaningful and understandable ways.

In fact, even if you are not involved in big data, information visualization will be able to help in your work processes as a designer. This is because many design processes—including conducting user interviews and analyzing user flows and sales funnels—involve the collation and presentation of information. Information visualization turns raw data into meaningful patterns, which will help you find actionable insights. From designing meaningful interfaces, to processing your own UX research, information visualization is an indispensable tool in your UX design kit.

This course is presented by Alan Dix, a former professor at Lancaster University in the UK. A world-renowned authority in the field of human-computer interaction, Alan is the author of the university-level textbook Human-Computer Interaction. “Information Visualization” is full of simple but practical lessons to guide your development in information visualization. We start with the basics of what information visualization is, including its history and necessity, and then walk you through the initial steps in creating your own information visualizations. While there’s plenty of theory here, we’ve got plenty of practice for you, too.

What you will learn

  • How to design basic information visualizations
  • How to define what makes a good information visualization
  • How to describe a range of basic and complex information visualization techniques
  • The history of the information visualization discipline
  • How the eye and the brain function together to deliver imagery
  • What common visual perception problems are, and how to avoid them in design
  • How to evaluate the effectiveness of an information visualization

Who should take this course

This is a beginner-level course suitable for newcomers and experienced practitioners alike:

  • UX and UI designers interested in creating effective designs that help users understand large amounts of data
  • Information visualization designers who want to have a solid theoretical foundation
  • Project managers working on projects that require elegant representations or visualizations of data
  • Software engineers looking to learn how to transform raw information into meaningful graphics
  • Entrepreneurs who wish to use information visualization to make their products more engaging and intuitive
  • Anyone who needs to present information in a manner that an audience can easily digest

Courses in the Interaction Design Foundation are designed to contain comprehensive, evidence-based content, while ensuring that the learning curve is never too steep. All participants will have the opportunity to share ideas, seek help with tests, and enjoy the social aspects afforded by our open and friendly forum.

Learn and work with a global team of designers

When you take part in this course, you will join a global multidisciplinary team working on the course and the exercises at the same time as you. You will work together to improve your skills and understanding. Your course group will be made up of an incredibly diverse group of professionals, all of whom have the same objective—to become successful designers. It’s your chance to learn, grow, and network with your peers across the planet.

1 Gartner

Lessons in this course

Note: Lessons become available at a schedule of one lesson per week. Once a lesson becomes available, it is open for you forever — you can take all the time you want to go through each lesson. There is no time limit to finish a course, and you always have access to your classmates, course material, and your answers.

Lesson 0: Welcome and Introduction

To be scheduled

  • 0.1: Please check your information before continuing
  • 0.2: Meet your peers (online)
  • 0.3: Meet your peers (offline)
  • 0.4: The 3 Components of Courses from the Interaction Design Foundation
  • 0.5: A mix between Research-based Versus Example-based Learning
    • 0.6: Course Structure, Point System and Course Certificate
    • 0.7: The Didactics and Educational Choices for IDF’s Courses

Lesson 1: Introduction to Information Visualization

To be scheduled

  • 1.1: An Introduction to Information Visualization
  • 1.2: Information Visualization – A Brief Introduction
  • 1.3: Information Visualisation - An Example
  • 1.4: What is Information Visualisation?
  • 1.5: The Continuum of Understanding and Information Visualization
    • 1.6: Guidelines for Good Visual Information Representations
    • 1.7: Why Information Visualisation?
    • 1.8: Information Visualization – Who Needs It?
    • 1.9: Information Visualization – A Brief Pre-20th Century History
    • 1.10: Information Visualization – A Brief 20th and 21st Century History
    • 1.11: A Brief History of Visualisation
    • 1.12: Demonstrating an Understanding of the Principles of What Makes a Good Information Visualization
    • 1.13: Lesson Roundup – An Introduction to Information Visualization

Lesson 2: Vision and Memory

To be scheduled

  • 2.1: An Introduction to Memory and Visual Perception
  • 2.2: Vision and Visual Perception Challenges
  • 2.3: The Properties of Human Memory and Their Importance for Information Visualization
  • 2.4: Preattentive Visual Properties and How to Use Them in Information Visualization
  • 2.5: The Law of Similarity - Gestalt Principles (1)
    • 2.6: Laws of Proximity, Uniform Connectedness, and Continuation – Gestalt Principles (2)
    • 2.7: The Laws of Figure/Ground, Prägnanz, Closure, and Common Fate - Gestalt Principles (3)
    • 2.8: Discussion Exercise
    • 2.9: Lesson Round Up – An Introduction to Memory and Visual Perception

Lesson 3: Basic Information Visualization

To be scheduled

  • 3.1: An Introduction to Basic Information Visualization
  • 3.2: How to Design an Information Visualization
  • 3.3: Visual Mapping – The Elements of Information Visualization
  • 3.4: How to Represent Linear Data Visually for Information Visualization
  • 3.5: Visualisation in Context
    • 3.6: Designing Visualisation
    • 3.7: Discussion Exercise
    • 3.8: Roundup – An Introduction to Basic Information Visualization

Lesson 4: Advanced Information Visualization

To be scheduled

  • 4.1: An Introduction to Advanced Information Visualization
  • 4.2: Information Visualization – An Introduction to Multivariate Analysis
  • 4.3: The Principles of Information Visualization for Basic Network Data
  • 4.4: How to Display Complex Network Data with Information Visualization
  • 4.5: How to Show Hierarchical Data with Information Visualization
    • 4.6: Information Overload, Why it Matters and How to Combat It
    • 4.7: Information Visualization an Introduction to Manipulable Information Representations
    • 4.8: Information Visualization an Introduction to Transformable Information Representations
    • 4.9: Classic Visualisations: Single Attribute
    • 4.10: Classic Visualisations: Multiple Attributes
    • 4.11: Discussion Exercise
    • 4.12: Roundup – An Introduction to Advanced Information Visualization

Lesson 5: Evaluation

To be scheduled

  • 5.1: An Introduction to Evaluating Information Visualizations
  • 5.2: How to Conduct a Heuristic Evaluation for Usability in HCI and Information Visualization
  • 5.3: How to Conduct a Cognitive Walkthrough
  • 5.4: How to Recruit Users for Usability Studies
  • 5.5: How to Conduct User Observations
    • 5.6: How to Conduct User Interviews
    • 5.7: How to Conduct Focus Groups
    • 5.8: Discussion Exercise
    • 5.9: Roundup – An Introduction to Evaluating Information Visualizations

Lesson 6: Course Certificate, Final Networking, and Course Wrap-up

To be scheduled

  • 6.1: Course Evaluation

Industry-trusted UX Course Certificate

You earn an industry-trusted Course Certificate once you complete the course - even if you finish the course after the official end date. In other words, as long as you have enrolled in the course you will always be able to finish it and to get a course certificate. You will also have permanent access to the course material, your answers and the discussions.

Course Certificates from the IDF are verifiable and trusted by industry leaders. You can highlight them on your resume, CV, LinkedIn profile or your website.

Course Certificate

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