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Information Design & Visualization Fundamentals

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Information Design & Visualization Fundamentals covers the design and visual principles needed to create effective information graphics and data visualizations.

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About This Course

This course focuses on information graphics and data visualization, a subset of a broader field of information design. You will learn what steps you need to create successful visualizations. Specifically, a survey of the tools of the trade will be covered, everything from mapping tools to charting tools such as D3.js and much more. Additionally, Graham will walk through two real-world examples of visualizations as featured in The New York Times and help you get on your way toward making information graphics and visualizations of your own.

Course Outline

  • Lesson 1: Defining Information Design

    You will learn the advantages of a visual approach to communication and take a look at the spectrum of the discipline-from infographics to data visualization. Additionally, you will take a look at at the goals of graphics and visualizations with a specific emphasis on journalistic approaches.

  • Lesson 2: Visual Design Principles

    Learn the basics of visual comprehension including color, proximity, grouping, and more. Also, discover the steps involved with creating an information graphic including how to define focus, gather data, choose form, and how to create a hierarchy of importance.

  • Lesson 3: Interaction Design Principles

    This lesson will briefly cover the evolution of interactive graphics over the years as well as introduce you to modern interactive techniques including steppers, hovering, sliders, drag and drop, and more.

  • Lesson 4: Tools of the Trade

    Discover the various techniques used to create infographics and data visualizations, specifically data tools, visualization tools, animation tools and illustration tools.

  • Lesson 5: In-Depth Example #1: Mariano Rivera — King of the Closers

    You will walk through the thought process and tools used to develop this animated information graphic from beginning to end.

  • Lesson 6: In-Depth Example #2: 512 Paths to the White House

    You will walk through the thought process and tools used to develop this animated information graphic from beginning to end.


  • Some experience in the fundamentals and principles of design will be helpful to get the most out of this class. You should also have a general sense of current web technologies as well.
  • Intermediate experience with at least one of the following technologies will be useful: Adobe Illustrator, HTML and CSS, JavaScript, Prototyping, Storyboarding or 3D software such as Maya.


The requirements for this class are flexible. Many of the assignments rely either on writing/sketching or using design software that you are familiar with. That being said, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Mac or Windows desktop or laptop
  • Google Chrome web browser
  • Pencil and paper

This Course is For

  • Designers
  • Creatives
  • Data Scientists

Meet the Instructor

Graham Roberts

Graham Roberts

Graham is Director of Immersive Platform Storytelling at The New York Times, producing a wide range of visual journalism projects as part of the NYT Graphics group. Most recently his work has focused on new approaches in video, motion graphics, and immersive storytelling, while building a team to innovate in this area.

His work has been recognized by the Emmy’s, the Society of News Design, Malofiej, the Online News Association, the Webby’s, POYI, the Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards, the Peabody Awards, the Scripps Howard Awards and the Pulitzer Awards.

Graham also teaches motion graphics for journalism at the CUNY Journalism School, and occasionally speaks at schools and conferences — most recently in Chicago, Ljubljana, Austin, and Rotterdam.


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