Final Project


The final project for this course is an opportunity to apply the theories and techniques of visualization learned in this class to a real-world product, most likely a visual web application (though other mediums are fine too). The project can focus on designing a new type of visualization that solves a problem not addressed adequately by current visualization methods, or applying known visualization techniques to an interesting problem in a new way. Other project ideas are possible, subject to approval. We strongly recommend you work in groups of 2-3 people, each with complementary skills and experience in the areas of programming and design.

Examples of visualizations your projects may aspire to:

Obviously, these were made by experts with more time and experience. These examples should serve as an inspiration.

Project Expectations

Project Milestones (details below)

Project Pitch (March 29, 2010)

This is an opportunity to share project ideas with each other and form project groups. Come to class with an idea or two of what you'd like to build/design. If you like what someone suggests, there'll be a time to move about the room and begin forming project groups.

When you present, be sure to mention your strengths (design, programming, experience with certain visualization and development tools) so that you can encourage partnerships with people with complementary skills.

Project Proposal (Due April 2, 2010 - 9pm)

The project proposal is intended to help you formulate a project concept and scope. It should be a short (1-2 pages max) description of your intended project and include any sketches or visual aids needed to clarify your concept. The purpose of this assignment is to let us know what you want to build so we can give you feedback early. If necessary, we may ask you to revise your proposal, most likely by focusing the scope. A well-scoped project will be one that can be fully realized and executed well by 2-3 people working about 50 hours each over the next month.

We expect the style of proposal to vary based on the project, but it should include:

In-Class "Mid-Term" Demonstration (Due April 19-21, 2010)

On one of these two days, you will demonstrate initial prototypes of your project to the class. Prototypes should start as paper sketches, but by this point you should have moved to a higher-fidelity interactive medium like Apple Keynote or Powerpoint (or perhaps code) so that you can test it with users.

The duration of the demonstration will depend on the number of projects we have.

In-Class "Final" Demonstration (Due May 3-5, 2010)

On one of these days, you will demonstrate the final version of your visualization to the class. This is an opportunity to show everyone how it works and discuss how you built it.

Poster (Due May 10, 2010 - 12:30pm)

We will invite members of the campus community to a showcase of your work. Each group will stand by their poster and laptop to demo their project. The poster is intended to give visitors a quick way of learning about what you did, what the challenges where, and why your project matters. A poster need not contain every detail of your project's implementation. Instead, it should be easily scannable, contain relatively little text, and compliment the live demos you'll be giving on your laptop.

Final Report (Due May 10, 2010 - 9pm)

The final deliverable is a written report on the process your team undertook to complete this project. It should be clearly organized and describe what you made and why you made the design that you did. It should demonstrate completion of each of the milestones described on this page, and include images of each stage of the project, including scans of early designs, photos of usability tests, screenshots, etc. Explain the process you undertook to produce your project, rather than just describing the finished work. It should be sufficiently detailed that others could repeat your process simply from reading your document. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. The final report is due via email at 9pm PDT on Monday, May 10.

Project Grading