Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Department
University of Maryland Baltimore County
Visualization Critique Mania
Due: September 25, 2017: 5pm EDT
Write a critical analysis of two visualization examples, one you believe to
be effective and one you believe to be ineffective or misleading.
Each critique should include a citation describing its source,
including publication name, author/artist (if available), date, and
URL (if applicable).
Come prepared to present your examples and analysis to the class, with a one minute
time limit for each example. We will hold an elimination-style competition to
determine the best and worst visualizations. Winning visualizations will receive extra
What to discuss
Each analysis should be between a half and a full page of prose (whole sentences and
paragraphs) and should address the following issues:
How effective do you judge this visualization to be? Why?
What are the most noticeable elements of the visualization? Are they the most
Is there essential information missing?
Are there elements which carry no information?
Are colors used effectively?
Does this visualization encourage any misperceptions?
How could this visualization be improved? Offer specific suggestions.
Where to look
Look in any publication that communicates large amounts of information. Visualizations
can be intended for either specialty or general audiences.
What to turn in
Mail a copy of your images (or links to them) to the instructor before 5pm on
September 25. Bring a hard copy of your critique (with embedded images) to turn in during
class on September 26.