Interaction Assignment

Create a data visualization that uses interaction to allow deeper exploration.

User interaction can be used in many ways to make more powerful visualizations. Your visualization may disclose detailed information when the user clicks. You may provide a filter or search tool to narrow down and highlight a subset of information. Maybe you allow users to choose what aspects of information to display, or how to sort entities. Like in the previous assignments, the data you use and the nature of your visualization will be up to you. For this assignment however, we spend more time on the initial phases of concept development, technical discovery, and proposal.

Assignment Given April 15
Proposal Due **April 21 at Midnight**
Proposal Review April 22
Proposal Revision and Proof of Concept Due April 29
Project Presentation May 6
Final Presentation May 13


Your proposal is due next week. The effort you put in over the next week in planning your project will be critical to the success of your project. You will need to find a working source for your data, and plan out how you will represent your data. Your real assignment for this week is to develop a clear, achievable goal and complete plan to achieve it. The proposal is written communication of this effort.

By next week, post your proposal to the blog. Include:

  • The subject of your web page.

    Whether your page promotes, persuades, or informs, it will be about something. Start by telling me the subject and purpose of your project. Explain what your project will do. What data will it use? How will it present the data? What will the interactions be?

  • The data you will use.

    Find a source that can provide the data you need. Make absolutely sure that your source provides the data you need, that you can access it in the way that you need to, and you understand how to do so.

  • The technologies you will use.

    Identify the programming languages and libraries you will use. Choose technologies that you have worked with. Understanding how difficult a project will be and assessing your ability to complete a project are skills you are still developing. Sticking with technologies you have used before will help you make accurate predictions.

  • Identify and plan for every challenge.

    Consider every feature of your project carefully. Imagine the entire design and development process. Break your project down into a list of challenges. Which challenges will be easiest for you? Which will be hardest? What will you have to figure out how to do? How will you figure it out? If you are not sure how to do something, find out now. Ask your friends and enemies and look for reference material and tutorials.

  • A design comp of your visualization.

    Using manual design tools (Illustrator, Photoshop) and a static set of data, create a design showing how your project will display the data. Include any additional headlines, copy, and other images that will be part of your final visualization. Design these completely, as if you were planning to hand them off to someone else to implement.

Your proposal should be well written, edited, and proofed. It should be 400 to 500 words long (really it should be as long as it needs to be). It should include links and references that support understanding. It should be clearly designed and presented professionally. It should be a .pdf. It should be posted to the blog. Be prepared to field detailed, specific questions about you project and plan in class.