FORENSIC DESIGN ASSESSMENTS This task relates to a sequence of assessments that will be repeated across Chapters 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. Select any example of a visualisation or infographic, maybe your own work or that of others. The task is to undertake a deep, detailed ‘forensic’ like assessment of the design choices made across each of the five layers of the chosen visualisation’s anatomy. In each case your assessment is only concerned with one design layer at a time. For this task, take a close look at the annotation choices: Start by identifying all the annotation features deployed, listing them under the headers of either project or chart annotation How suitable are the choices and deployment of these annotation features? If they are not, what do you think they should have been? Go through the set of ‘Influencing factors’ from the latter section of the book’s chapter to help shape your assessment and to possibly inform how you might tackle this design layer differently Also, considering the range of potential annotation features, what would you do differently or additionally? Assignment Link:


Forensic design assessments play a critical role in evaluating the design choices made in visualizations or infographics. In this specific task, the focus is on analyzing the annotation choices of a chosen visualisation across five layers of its anatomy. The annotation features and their deployment will be closely examined, and their suitability will be assessed. Additionally, the influencing factors mentioned in the latter section of Chapter 8 of the book “Visualising Data” will be considered to shape the assessment.

Annotation Features

An important aspect of visualisations is the inclusion of annotations, which provide additional context and information to the audience. Annotations can be categorized into two types: project annotations and chart annotations. Project annotations refer to the overall annotations that accompany the visualisation as a whole, while chart annotations are specific to individual elements within the visualisation.

To conduct a forensic design assessment of the annotation choices, it is crucial to identify all the annotation features deployed in the chosen visualisation and categorize them accordingly. Project annotations may include titles, legends, captions, and source citations, while chart annotations could consist of labels, tooltips, callouts, and contextual explanations.

Suitability of Annotation Choices

Once the annotation features are identified, their suitability needs to be evaluated. The chosen annotation features should align with the purpose and intended audience of the visualisation. Consideration should be given to their clarity, relevance, and effectiveness in conveying the desired information.

If the annotation choices are unsuitable, it is essential to suggest alternative options that would better serve the purpose of the visualisation. For example, if a title is unclear or does not reflect the content accurately, a more descriptive and concise title can be proposed. Similarly, if the labels on a chart are difficult to read or understand, appropriate adjustments should be recommended.

Influencing Factors

To ensure a comprehensive assessment, the influencing factors provided in the latter section of Chapter 8 should be considered. These factors encompass aspects such as the visualisation’s context, the data being represented, the audience’s knowledge level, and the communication goals.

By examining these influencing factors, potential strengths and weaknesses in the annotation choices can be identified. For instance, if the visualisation is aimed at a general audience with limited knowledge, the annotation features should focus on providing clear explanations and definitions. On the other hand, if the visualisation is intended for experts in the field, the annotations should be more technical and concise.

Different or Additional Annotation Features

As part of the assessment, it is important to consider the range of potential annotation features that could enhance the visualisation. This involves thinking beyond the existing annotations and suggesting additional features that could improve the clarity and impact of the visualisation.

For instance, if the chosen visualisation lacks callouts or tooltips explaining specific data points, adding these could enhance the audience’s understanding. Moreover, if the visualisation includes complex charts or graphs, introducing a detailed legend or key could assist in interpreting the information more effectively.

The assessment of annotation choices in a visualisation requires a meticulous examination of the features deployed, their suitability, and potential improvements that can be made. By considering influencing factors and exploring different annotation options, the design layer can be analyzed and enhanced for optimal communication of information.

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