Lecture 7 Exercise

For the class exercise that happened in Week 7, Friday, I did not foresee a debate coming on in the discussion: differentiating between a data visualisation and an infographic.

We were presented with a bunch of images and asked to develop criteria and to classify these images, and also to identify those that do not fit snugly into one category or the other. That said, my group had differing opinions, but we compromised on certain ‘points’ instead of hard criteria to differentiate between the two.


  • A visual representation of data or (a set of) numbers
  • It is largely uninterpreted by the designer
  • It encourages explorative analysis of the data
  • Find/draw trends/stuff besides the main idea or point





  • Has a larger graphic design
  • It is mostly interpreted by the designer – it presents the highlighted data smack in your face
  • It is conclusive, relevant or important and highly comprehensible
  • Tells a story in context (usually with multiple elements)
  • Has a leading (primes for exploration within context) title, instead of merely the title of the data set





  1. It leads you to explore & relate to other chunks of data (Characteristic of data visualisation)
  2. It tells a story, often sequential (Characteristic of an infographic)
  3. An example here would be the “best visualisation that was ever made” quoting Tufte.




Other groups had pretty decent criteria too.

Group A

  • Structure/Non-structure of the infographic
  • Context
  • Focus
  • Level (Depth?) of information

Group B

  • All infographics contain data visualisation(s)
  • Data is complementary, supplementary, more focus, attention or has additional background information
  • Presence of call-to-action
  • Allowance/leeway for interpretation (Data visualisations don’t have different perspectives) – This point is in conflict with my group’s

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