TPD4167 - Information Visualisation


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Written examination and work
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
School exam 60/100 3 hours D
Work 40/100 1 semesters

Course content

The course aims to give an understanding in how information can be designed and presented to provide efficient and effective knowledge transfer and decision-making. The course provides an overview of the human sensory and cognitive systems, and focus on how different designs of information affect understanding. Screen based as well as other types of interactive interfaces as means to efficiently and unambiguously present information are discussed. The course is structured based on the sensory and perceptive human systems like vision, memory, spatial ability and visual thinking. Base material is the course literature and current scientific papers in relevant areas.

Learning outcome


The candidate can

  • show the difference between well-known information visualization techniques, including the pros and cons they have in respect to types of data, functionality, adaptability, and scalability
  • show how the cognitive and perceptive abilities of humans affect the possibilities of information visualization.


The candidate can

  • create concepts for information visualizations taking into consideration specific data sets, users, technical platforms, and use context.
  • iteratively develop visualizations from early non-functional sketches through mock-ups to functional prototype making use of user feedback.

General competence

The candidate can

  • compare different interactive visualization techniques to evaluate their feasibility for both generic and specific use
  • analyze and provide creative criticism on specific solutions to visualize information.

Learning methods and activities

The course contains a number of lectures, a literature seminar, three practical exercises, a project work and a written examination. The exercises and projects are done in groups.

Literature seminar: One or more students will be responsible for one chapter of the course book each and orally present the most important features as well as suggest a number of questions for the written examination.

Practical exercises: Three week-long exercises will be given which are to be solved in groups of 2-3 students. The results of the exercises will be discussed in class. Project work: One larger project work based on some current research question solving a practical visualization design problem will be assigned to groups of 2-3 students. The results will be presented in a mini-thesis, a scientific poster, as well as an oral poster presentation.

Written examination: The theoretical content of the course literature and the lectures will be examined in a 3 hrs long written examination.

Further on evaluation

If there is a re-sit examination, the examination may be changed from written to oral. It is possible to re-take only parts of the exam.

Specific conditions

Required previous knowledge

The course is limited to students of 5 and 2 year Master in Industrial Design and Master in Interaction Design.

Course materials

Course literature:

  • Ware, Colin (2021). Visual Thinking for Information Design" (2st Edition). Morgan Kaufmann. ISBN: 9780128235676.

Reference literature:

  • Christopher D. Wickens, Justin G. Hollands, Raja Parasuraman, & Simon Banbury. (2012). Engineering Psychology & Human Performance (4th Edition). Pearsons. ISBN10: 0205945740, ISBN13: 9780205945740

Examples of relevant scientific papers:

  • O´Reagan, J. K. (1992). Solving the real mysteries of visual perception: The world as an outside memory. Canadian Journal of Psychology, 46: 461-488.
  • Porathe, T. & Strand, L. (2011). Which sign is more visible? Measuring the visibility of traffic signs through the conspicuity index method. European Transport Research Review, 3:35–45. DOI 10.1007/s12544-011-0050-9
  • Porathe, T. & Prison, J. (2008) Design of Human-Map System Interaction. Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI 26th CHI Conference in Florence, Italy 5-10 April 2008. ACM New York, NY, USA. ISBN:978-1-60558-012-X .

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2024

Language of instruction: English

Location: Gjøvik , Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Interaction Design
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Design


Examination arrangement: Written examination and work

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Spring ORD Work 40/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD School exam 60/100 D INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Summer UTS Work 40/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Summer UTS School exam 60/100 D INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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