DSIGN243-21B (HAM)

Visual Language and Information Design

15 Points

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Division of Health Engineering Computing & Science
School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences
Department of Computer Science


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: maria.admiraal@waikato.ac.nz

Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)


: r.simmons@waikato.ac.nz

Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)


: debby.dada@waikato.ac.nz

You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 3: dial +64 7 2620 + the last 3 digits of the extension e.g. 3123 = +64 7 262 0123.
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Paper Description

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This paper offers students the possibility to explore the area of information design. By using their knowledge of principles of design, visual communication using typography and image, students will design information graphics (infographics): visual representations of information, working in the passage from data to information utilising graphics means, enhancing the human capability of seeing and understanding patterns and trends.
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Paper Structure

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Design Studios are 2 x 3-hour studios each week with 1-hour Lecture weekly.

Attendance is compulsory to both Studios and Lectures, where graded activities will be conducted.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:


    • Demonstrate competence in the knowledge of the visual language to promote perception, create comprehension, and produce visible signs.
    • Demonstrate competence to present information in an efficient and effective approach by using design theories and visualisation methods.


    • Use a design process to explore options for solving visual problems
    • Use and understand information/data for visualisation
    • Research and analyse existing and historical design
    • Develop concepts, articulate and exchange these ideas with class members
    • Make informed decisions about criticisms and suggestions, and present works in a professional fashion


    • Demonstrate an appropriate level of professional practice
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Please taken note that:

All assignments have to be accompanied by research and process, to prove the originality of the work.

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Visual Language
9 Aug 2021
No set time
  • Hand-in: In Lab
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. InfoVis
13 Sep 2021
No set time
  • Hand-in: In Lab
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. DataVis
18 Oct 2021
No set time
  • Hand-in: In Lab
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Professional Practice
  • In Class: In Lecture
  • In Class: In Tutorial
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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100 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design, by Steven Heller and Veronique Vienne

The Anatomy of Design, by Steven Heller and Mirko Ilic

Infographics (The power of visual storytelling), by Jason Lankow, Josh Ritchie, Ross Crooks

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Recommended Readings

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Information is Beautiful, by David McCandless

An introduction to Information Design, by Kathryn Coate and Andy Ellison

Cool Infographics, by Randy Krum

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Other Resources

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Online Support

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A Moodle page is available for all students enrolled in this paper. On the moodle page, students will be able to access copies of course handouts and materials including assessment material, supporting pdfs, additional resources and an overview of what will be covered each week. Students are expected to check this site frequently for updates and to participate in discussions and forums provided through the Moodle page.

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Students should expect to spend at least 12.5 hours per week on this paper, in the following proportions:

  • Studios & lecture: 7 hours
  • Private Study: 7/8 hours
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Linkages to Other Papers

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Prerequisite papers: CGRD142 or DSIGN142




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