CSE442 Data Visualization (Winter 2022)

Final Project

The final project will provide hands-on experience designing, implementing, and deploying interactive visualizations. Your project should address a concrete visualization challenge and should propose a novel, creative solution. The final deliverable will take the form of an explorable explanation, deployed as an interactive web page. Project teams should consist of 3-4 people.

In addition to your webpage, you will be responsible for presenting your final results. At the end of the quarter we will have a video showcase for you to share your work.

Prior to diving in, it is helpful to gain a sense of what goes into formulating a successful visualization project and to beware of common pitfalls. We encourage you to read A Nested Model for Visualization Design and Validation by Tamara Munzner. This paper is required reading later in the course, so you might as well get a head start!

Theme: Explorable Explanations

Your task is to create an Explorable Explanation: an interactive article that explains a complex subject to the reader. The topic could be a scientific phenomenon, a computer science algorithm, a mathematical concept, a sociological theory, or some other topic that you're passionate about. Focus on creating one or more interactive diagrams interlinked with explanatory text or annotations. We urge you to focus on a highly visual and/or interactive experience, as opposed to expecting a viewer to read large amounts of article text.

Examples highlighted in class include Harry Stevens' simulitis visualizations and Barry & Card's visualizations of the Boston subway system. For more examples, visit the explorabl.es site, the Idyll gallery, or the narrative lecture slides. You might take inspiration from Bret Victor, who popularized this style of article. Please do not choose a sorting algorithm or a search algorithm, as these have been done many times before. If you are unsure about a topic, please come discuss with the course staff.

Project Milestones

The final project consists of the following milestones:

  • Proposal (Fri 2/18, 11:59pm). Propose your chosen topic, dataset(s), and team members. Complete the registration form (one per team). We will create a new set of GitHub repos for each project.
  • Initial Prototype (Mon 2/28, 11:59pm). Develop an initial prototype of your project and, similar to A3, publish it using GitHub pages. This prototype will be used by the course staff to provide feedback on your designs. It is expected that your project will not yet be in a "complete" state; however, by this point you should have the structure of your project laid out, rough prototypes of your main visualization(s) and interactions, and at least basic descriptive text. Each team should submit the URL for their project on Canvas.
  • Demo Video (Wed 3/9, 11:59pm). You must produce a demo video (not to exceed 2 minutes in length) that introduces and explains your project. Your video can take the form of a narrated demo of your project, and may include additional content as you see fit. We will share the videos in class on 3/10. More information about preparing the video is available here.
  • Deliverables (Mon 3/14, 11:59pm). Publish your final project web page. You may make final touches to your page after any feedback from our video session. More information about preparing the final deliverables is available here.

The project prototype and final deliverable will be submitted and deployed on the CSE 442 GitHub organization. You will be assigned repositories after submitting your proposal. Your video should be posted to YouTube, and a URL to your video must be submitted via Canvas.