Fall 2019 - IAT 235 D100

Information Design (3)

Class Number: 6239

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    Location: TBA

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 14, 2019
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    Location: TBA

  • Instructor:

    Michael Filimowicz
    1 778 782-8178
  • Prerequisites:

    Completion of 21 units and IAT 102.



Introduces theory and practice of designing visual representations of information. Students will learn to visually translate textual, numerical and evidentiary information so that it can be communicated to diverse user communities and contexts. An emphasis will be on understanding how the meaning of images can change over time and across contexts and cultures. Beginning with photographic images, interactive charts, graphs, and maps, projects progress to more complex information in media forms ranging from advanced aspects of the web to interactive 3D visualizations. The relationship between visual display is explored in relation to its technology of creation, including code and information architecture.


Topics Covered

  • Information design
  • Human perception and design
  • Wireframing
  • Information architecture
  • Web coding fundamentals (HTML + CSS)
  • Web typography and content considerations
  • Responsive web design
  • User experience


  1. Explore the role and influence that graphic design, information architecture and user experience play on our perception and interpretation of information.
  2. Explain key methods used in the context of information design to visually represent different forms of information.
  3. Generate design criteria from specific scenarios and assess the utility of the criteria in the development of a user-centred design.
  4. Use methods — e.g. sketching, wireframing, sitemaps and flowcharts — to design applications that will translate basic qualitative and quantitative information into more human-readable representations.
  5. Demonstrate key principles of graphic design, information architecture and user experience design in the creation of websites (using HTML/CSS).


  • Final Project Deliverables 35%
  • Skill Building Exercises 20%
  • Final Exam 40%
  • Participation 5%


Grading Scale Cutoffs:

A+  95%
A    90%
A-   85%
B+  80%
B    75%
B-   70%
C+  65%
C    60%
C-   55%
D    50%
F < 50%


This course requires completing regular coursework to stay on track with the course and concepts being taught.



Readings will be delivered digitally through the online course-platform.

Much like other design courses, you will need access to a sketchbook and writing utensils regularly in both lecture and lab. There may also be some minor printing required for assignment and, or, project delivery.

Computer Access
For when we begin working on web coding, having regular access to your own computer would be ideal but is not necessary. The specific software used in this course is all available free of charge.


Information Design Workbook: Graphic approaches, solutions, and inspiration + 30 case studies. (2010) by Kim Baer; Reprint Edition; Rockport Publishers 
ISBN: 978-1592536276

An Introduction to Information Design. (2014) by Andy Ellison, Kathryn Coates, Laurence King Publishing 
ISBN: 978-1780673387

Additional readings on Canvas

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html