student makeovers

This fall, I had the pleasure of teaching Intro to Information Visualization for MICA's MPS in Information Visualization. It was a 4-week course, where we explored some fundamentals of data visualization and storytelling as it relates to communicating effectively with data.

The course was unique from my typical workshops in a number of ways. It was great to get to start to know the students during our time together. Perhaps the most exciting difference for me was being able to see the lessons we covered put to use in homework assignments.

One of the assignments was a visual makeover, where students were asked to select a less-than-stellar visualization from the media, identify the underlying story and create a new and improved visual using data together with narrative to tell an effective visual story. I had a great time reviewing the before-and-afters. I thought I'd share this fun with you by posting some of them here (with my students' permission; I realize the snippets below are a little small - and my process for getting images onto my blog has started to create a sort of strange grey background, so if you want to see bigger non-grey-background versions, you can download the PDF here). Enjoy!

Makeover 1: bird feeder location 

 by Kevin Ripka |

Makeover 2: youth programs

 by Brittney Younger

Makeover 3: NYC refuse 

 by Marianne Siblini

Makeover 4: BB Finale

  by John Breakey |

Makeover 5: climate change

  by Jennifer A. Stark

Makeover 6: prezi growth

  by Jess Mireau |

Big thanks to the students above for agreeing to let me post their work, and to the overall class for making my first time teaching at the graduate level an incredibly rewarding experience!