Welcome to Information Visualization

Please send me your presentations from the literature seminar


Literature seminar Thursday 6 March

Each group presents for 15 mins, then 10 mins questions, plus 5 mins break for switching to next group, "bensträckare" etc.

09.00 - 09.30 group 1

09.30 - 10.00 group 2

10.00 - 10.30 group 3

10.30 - 10.45 break

10.45 - 11.15 group 4

11.15 - 11.45 group 5

11.45 - 12.15 group 7

12.15 - 13.15 lunch

13.15 - 13.45 group 6

13.45 - 14.15 group 8

14.15 - 14.30 break

14.30 - 15.00 group 9

15.00 - 15.30 group 10

15.30 - 16.00 group 11

Project presentation Monday 3 March

Please hang you posters in the "bridge" between Kuggen and Lindholmen Science Park. We will start the presentations there at 13.15. Prepare a 10 min presentation per group.

Poster printer

For questions regarding the poster printer, please contact studio manager Peter Börjesson peterborjesson [] live.se

Please send me group members for the literature seminar groups


GU-students: how to sign up for the exam

If you are registered on TIA109, sign up for the exam on ”Ladok på webb”, 19 Feb at the latest.

Notes from halfway evaluation meeting are now to be found among Files

Sample exam

The sample exam that you now find among the files is from 2012. This year’s exam will not be multiple choice - it will have open, but fewer questions. It will still contain an essay question.

Halfway meeting course evaluation

The halfway meeting with the course representatives will take place 10 February at four o'clock in the afternoon (after the lecture)

The written exam, change of date

The written exam will take place 13 March in the afternoon

Course Description

Having access to the right information, at the right time and in the right format, is crucial in many aspects of human life: in working life, industry and transportation, in business as well as in the private. This is easier said than done. Presenting information in the right form depends on the task, it depends on the user group and on the context. Look at the picture below: using a map for way-finding is not always straight forward. How come?


In this course we will mainly look at human cognition (the way we think and process information) and ask us how the brain's behavior influences the way we perceive information, and how we must design information for it to be easily and intuitively understood.

We will for example look at how light, contrast and colors affect the way we see things, if some colors are better than others, how we make designs that pops- out and how we perceive space around us and how we can use that knowledge to make better decision support tools.


This is two almost identical photos. They are taken from two camera positions 6 cm apart and they are interchanged twice every second. What do you experience, and why? And how does this picture affect your reading of the rest of the text on this page, and why?

In all complex environments, like road traffic, aviation and shipping, as well as industry and medicine, 80-85 % of all accidents are due to what is called “human error”. We all know that humans make errors, this is part of being human, but if we can learn to design better interfaces, more adapted to the users, we might make the difference between yet another error and a safe decision.

We will also look at visualizations from a broader cultural perspective and see how visualizations can be used in different fields and for different purposes. We will, among other things, analyze some medical visualizations and news graphics.

In this course we will dive into the mysteries of sensation and perception though lectures and the literature Information Visualization: Perception for Design by the psychologist Colin Ware from the University of New Hampshire. And we will put our new knowledge into practice by a number of exercises and a project work.

The teachers

Karin Wagner


Karin Wagner is a senior lecturer in art history and visual studies at the Department of Applied IT at Chalmers and Gothenburg University. Her research interests include photography, visual communication and new media. She has participated in a research project on mobile phone photography as well as in a project on packaging design.Web site: http://www.ait.gu.se/english/contact/faculty/karin_wagner/

Thomas Porathe


Thomas Porathe is assistant professor of Maritime Human Factors at the Department of Shipping and Marine Technology at Chalmers where he is doing research on the information environment onboard ships. He has a PhD in Information Design and has for many years studied human-centered map design.

Kristina Knaving

Kristina Knaving is a PhD student in Interaction design at the Department of Applied IT at Chalmers and Gothenburg University, where she is researching user experience and information handling at large events. She has a MSc in Engineering and Media Technology and worked with information visualization for five years before her doctoral studies.

Course literature

Compusory litterature

Ware, Colin. (2012). Information Visualization: Perception for Design (3rd Edition). Morgan Kaufmann. ISBN-10: 0123814642, ISBN-13: 978-0123814647

Relevant research papers will be handed out during the course

Reference literature
If you find the domain of how human abilities contribute to the design of technology interesting you can dive deeper into the subject in this book. Here the research behind many of the design guidelines in Ware's book are presented.

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