Summer 2020 - IAT 235 E100

Information Design (3)

Class Number: 4607

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 12, 2020
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    Location: TBA

  • 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).


  • Participation 5%
  • Quizzes 20%
  • Group Projects 50%
  • Individual Projects 25%


This course follows the SIAT recommended grading scale cut-offs:

A+  95%
A    90%
A-   85%
B+  80%
B    76%
B-   72%
C+  68%
C    64%
C-   60%
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.

Due to the online delivery of the Summer term printing of work will not be required. However physical sketching will still be a part of the development of ideas.

Computer Access
Having regular access to your own computer will be necessary. Vector graphics programs such as Illustrator as well as Rapid Prototyping Software such as Axure RP will be needed in the first half of the term. The latter half will primarily invovle the use of HTML and CSS coding via text-editor.


Required readings will be proviced through the online course platform (Canvas).

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site 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.


Please note that all teaching at SFU in summer term 2020 will be conducted through remote methods. Enrollment in this course acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion