188.917 Information Design and Visualization
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2021S, VU, 2.0h, 3.0EC


  • Semester hours: 2.0
  • Credits: 3.0
  • Type: VU Lecture and Exercise
  • Format: Distance Learning

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to...

  • understand the terms "Information Design", "Information Visualization", and their main characteristics;
  • understand and implement the main principles of human visual perception and visualization;
  • to organize and present different data types using text, tables, and graphical representations in order to communicate information clearly and succinctly;
  • to assess the quality of visual representations including the identification of flaws and manipulative designs of visual representations;
  • assess a variety of visual representation methods, their main characteristics, and in which contexts they can be applied;
  • apply human-centered design and evaluation methods for visualizations;
  • design interactive visualizations with respect to different reference models and taxonomies.

Subject of course

"Solving a problem simply means representing it so that the solution is obvious." [Simon, 1996]

One of the most important challenges of the emerging information age is to effectively utilize the immense wealth of information and data acquired, computed and stored by modern information systems. By utilizing the powerful human perceptual system that is extremely efficient in processing visual input, Information Design & Visualization can help to make sense of data, explore complex information spaces or spot patterns and relationships within the data.

In this course, you will get to know principles, methods, and techniques to visually represent data and information in order to make complex information structures more comprehensible, facilitate new insights, and enable knowledge discovery. At this, we do not primarily aim to design "beautiful pictures", but investigate visual and interactive methods to communicate information and gain new insights.


  • Introduction to Information Design & Information Visualization: Definitions and Terms as well as Historical Background
  • Perception and Cognition
  • Graphic and Text Design Principles
  • Visualization Design
  • Basic Visualization Techniques
  • Design Methodology, Taxonomies, Models & Evaluation Methods
  • Basic Principles of Information Visualization
  • Information Visualization Techniques
  • Methods for Interactivity
  • Application areas for Information Design and Information Visualization


Teaching methods

The content of the lecture will be provided via TUWEL in form of video links, slides, papers and other reading material. This material will be available one week before the live-zoom conference discussion session. In this zoom sessions, we will focus on specific important aspects about the topic. Some questions to check if students understood the concepts are possible, as well as small practical exercises within a lecture.

  • Lectures about concepts, methods, and techniques
  • Providing references to primary and advanced literature
  • Discussion of advantages and disadvantages of concepts, techniques, and scientific literature
  • Connecting with examples of applications
  • Practical application of concepts, methods, and techniques in the accompanying lab lecture
  • compulsory submission of assignment 0 as precondition to continue the course
  • 2 exercises as group work (assignment 1 + 3) and 1 exercise as individual work (assignment 2)
  • TUWEL online exam at the end of the semster


Mode of examination


Additional information

All necessary information will be provided in the TUWEL-course of this lecture.


At the beginning of the term, as a precondition to attend the course, assignment 0 has to be submitted in TUWEL until March 26, 2021 - 23:55 o'clock. In case of a not submitted assignment 0 without excuse, the student will be signed off from the course.


TUWEL will be used to provide slides and other relevant material for each lecture.    

There will be mandatory material that you HAVE TO study as well as additional material for those who are interested to learn more.


ECTS Breakdown (3 ECTS = 75h):    

Introduction: 1
Lectures: 20
Readings: 18
Assignment 0: 1
User Study: 2
Design Project: 22
Preparation for exam: 9
Exam: 2



Course dates

Wed15:15 - 16:4510.03.2021 via zoom (LIVE)Introduction
Wed15:15 - 16:4517.03.2021 - 30.06.2021 via zoom (LIVE)Zoom-Lecture
Information Design and Visualization - Single appointments
Wed10.03.202115:15 - 16:45 via zoomIntroduction
Wed17.03.202115:15 - 16:45 via zoomZoom-Lecture
Wed24.03.202115:15 - 16:45 via zoomZoom-Lecture
Wed14.04.202115:15 - 16:45 via zoomZoom-Lecture
Wed21.04.202115:15 - 16:45 via zoomZoom-Lecture
Wed28.04.202115:15 - 16:45 via zoomZoom-Lecture
Wed05.05.202115:15 - 16:45 via zoomZoom-Lecture
Wed12.05.202115:15 - 16:45 via zoomZoom-Lecture
Wed19.05.202115:15 - 16:45 via zoomZoom-Lecture
Wed26.05.202115:15 - 16:45 via zoomZoom-Lecture
Wed02.06.202115:15 - 16:45 via zoomZoom-Lecture
Wed09.06.202115:15 - 16:45 via zoomZoom-Lecture
Wed16.06.202115:15 - 16:45 via zoomZoom-Lecture
Wed23.06.202115:15 - 16:45 via zoomZoom-Lecture
Wed30.06.202115:15 - 16:45 via zoomZoom-Lecture

Examination modalities

At the beginning of the term, as a precondition to attend the course, assignment 0 has to be submitted in TUWEL until March 26, 2021 - 23:55 o'clock. In case of a not submitted assignment 0 without excuse, the student will be signed off from the course.

This course has a continuous assessment of course work and the final grade combines the grading of the submitted assignments (practical part) and the final multiple choice test (lecture part) at the end of the semester. As soon as there is a single contribution of a student (for example submitting assignment 0, signing up to a group for the assignments) and the student does not sign off of the course in TISS him-/her-self within the sign off period, the student must be graded accordingly.

There will be an invited lecture, where you have the possibility to do a short TUWEL quiz to catch some bonus points.

The results of the test and all assignments will be combined to the final grade.

Lecture part        

Online written multiple choice test about the content of the lectures at the end of the semester (Remote and online via TUWEL Test). For taking part in the TUWEL online test, it is required to have a device to open TUWEL and process a TUWEL test (up-to-date operating system and browser), as well as a stable internet connection. For the TUWEL test it is allowed to use all materials (open book exam). The questions are answerable with adequate preparation without looking up in the material. There is no additional time budget for these look-up tasks.

Relevant content for the tests:            

  • Lectures            
  • Slides          
  • linked mandatory videos
  • Mandatory readings    

Practical part        

In the practical part, four assignments have to be carried out:            

  • a brief motivation statement about your experience and interest in Informationdesign and visualization
  • two design assignments in form of practical assignments where the methods and theories of the lecture part are applied practically             
  • user test of a information visualization prototype        

The results have to be handed in via TUWEL.    


DayTimeDateRoomMode of examinationApplication timeApplication modeExam
Wed - 27.10.2021written06.10.2021 12:00 - 26.10.2021 12:00TISS3rd online exam (TUWEL test)
Wed - 15.12.2021written24.11.2021 12:00 - 14.12.2021 12:00TISS4th online exam (TUWEL Test)

Course registration

Begin End Deregistration end
19.02.2021 23:59 23.03.2021 23:59 31.03.2021 23:59

Registration modalities

For getting access to the TUWEL course, the registration in TISS is required.

Registration is possible until March 23th, 2021 and the deregistration is possible up to March 31th, 2021. 

Due to the continuous assessment of the course work in this course, students that did not sign off themself until March 31, 2021 in TISS, will be graded in any case.


Study CodeSemesterPrecon.Info
033 526 Business Informatics STEOP
Course requires the completion of the introductory and orientation phase
033 532 Media Informatics and Visual Computing 4. SemesterSTEOP
Course requires the completion of the introductory and orientation phase


No lecture notes are available.

Previous knowledge

  • Programming
  • Algorithms and data structures
  • Computer  Graphics

Continuative courses



if required in English