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Design Principles for Data Visualization - Session 1

Design Principles for Data Visualization - Session 1 Online

Session 1: Perception & data visualization design principles

This session is the first in a 2-part workshop, Design Principles for Data Visualization.

Session 2: u.mcmaster.ca/data-viz2

Hosted by Juan Velasco, a visual journalist with a long career focused on visualizing complex research and scientific information, this session will help participants understand why design is an important part of data visualization. It will also introduce important visual perception principles that should inform data visualization design.

This is a FREE immersive workshop, which will require active participation from attendees. 

Key topics from the workshop include:

  • Why data visualization design matters
  • Visual perception principles
  • Design principles
  • Writing for clarity and insight
  • Tools beyond the classic graphs and charts 

Following the workshop, there will be asynchronous learning modules that will lead to Session #2.

REGISTER FOR SESSION 2 HERE: u.mcmaster.ca/data-viz2

Accompanying Downloadable Files:
5W Charts and Cheat Sheet: https://macdrive.mcmaster.ca/f/ec3d25200f0a4b328629/?dl=1
Zip Folder of Data Files: https://macdrive.mcmaster.ca/f/e25b837598cd4205b455/?dl=1


At the end of the first session, Velasco will explain how to access homework exercises, including: 
1) Chart challenge: In this quick quiz, several visualizations will be used to test the participants’ ability to decipher different types of graphics. Estimated completion time: 10 minutes
2) Design a COVID-19 data-tracking dashboard: Based on publicly available information sources, participants will create a wireframe and design (using paper and pencil) a dashboard tracking multiple data metrics about the COVID-19 outbreak, worldwide and/or locally. Attention should be paid to content hierarchy, chart choices, colour usage and information density. Estimated work time: 1.5 hours
3) Hands-on with data visualization tools (optional): The participants can watch a video with the instructor demonstrating free and practical tools like Tableau, Datawrapper and Flourish to create different types of static and interactive data visualizations. They will receive the Excel and .csv data files they can use to replicate the exercises on their own. Estimated completion time: about 3 hours.

In the second session on March 12, 2021, Velasco will review participants' visualizations and facilitate a discussion of the designs. 

Juan Velasco is a visual journalist with a long career focused on visualizing complex research and scientific information to make it understandable and engaging for large audiences. He was the Art Director of National Geographic magazine from 2005 to 2014, and the Graphics Art Director of The New York Times from 1996 to 2001.

In 2001 he founded his own company, 5W Infographics (based in Washington DC, New York City and Madrid) which provides graphics, data visualization, motion graphics, and information design training and consulting for organizations all over the world.



CRESS and the Sherman Centre are committed to fostering a supportive and inclusive environment for its presenters and participants. As a participant in this session, you agree to support and help cultivate an experience that is collaborative, respectful, and inclusive, as well as free of harassment, discrimination, and oppression. We reserve the right to remove participants who exhibit harassing, malicious or persistently disruptive behaviour. Please refer to our code of conduct webpage for more information.

Friday, March 5, 2021
10:30am - 12:00pm
Time Zone:
Eastern Time - US & Canada (change)
  Relevant Research Series  
This is an online event. Event URL will be sent via registration email.

Registration is required. There are 0 seats available.

Event Organizer

Supriya Thukral

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