Assignment 2

Critique of visualizations


To be completed by 14-3-2021(Thurs) 1200hrs

  • This repo link will be of the format https://<username>
  • In the repo create a basic index.html file, and make it visible on GitHub repo pages (it's under the settings tab, under GitHub pages).
  • You can put your CSS style tags, HTML and JS script code into one file, or organize them into files/directories.


  • We have spent some time discussing the visualization model. What (data) - why (task) - how (idiom)
  • We have also looked at viz validation from a 4-step framework. The right domain - data - idiom - tech.
  • It is time to take some time to think about the heart of these issues a little more deeply.

Critique: Data and Idioms

  • It is harder to critique domain issues unless you've worked on the visualization.
  • Similarly, it is harder to critique tech issues unless you've worked on it.
  • However, when it comes to the idiom and to an extent data, it is far easier for us to critique choices.
  • You can find visualization examples on the Data Is Beautiful reddit or any number of blogs.


  • Bad visualizations can arise from data issues - badly chosen data scale, missing / inaccurate data, etc.
  • Another pitfall is choosing the wrong idiom / putting it together badly - too many color channels, chartjunk, etc.
  • Find 2 visualization examples, and dissect it critically on what you feel is wrong.
  • Comment on the data and idiom issues. Can be for both visualizations or one each.
  • Also comment on how the visualizations can be improved.

More details

  • This assignment is to get you to think about all the theory that we've learnt so far in this course.
  • Beyond the tech execution, we also arm ourselves with tools to think critically about visualizations. This exercise will help you think and frame your project.
  • Not a writing essay assignment, so short paragraphs or bullet points are fine.
  • For this module, I will ask you to present your critiques to the class after submissions are in.


Chi-Loong | V/R