BDes (Hons) Interaction Design

Imaging and Data Visualisation


We’ve been led to believe that a picture is worth a thousand words. This module puts that truism to the test. Exploring non-verbal communication, we introduce students to photographic, illustrative and diagrammatic approaches to communication. Showcasing the power of the image in communication the module equips students with the ability to not only create images, but also brief others’ on how to create images, through the creation of functional mood boards.

The module explores both paper- and screen-based approaches to image creation and introduces students to the differences between vector and raster images, in addition to various file formats and their appropriate uses.

By asking students to deliver their coursework using digital channels, for example grouping courseworks into Flickr pools, students are also introduced to digital distribution methods and exposed to the various channels they might consider to develop and build their web-based profiles.


The essential aims of this module are:

  • To introduce students to illustrative and diagrammatic approaches towards image making.
  • To increase students’ awareness of how imaging can be used in a variety of design contexts.
  • To develop students’ knowledge of the technical terms surrounding images: vector, raster, resolution, compression, bokeh, and other terms.
  • To familiarise students with the principles of art direction and help them develop tools – like moodboarding – that they can use to brief collaborators.
  • To explore designing with data and the challenges and opportunities that presenting data in an interactive context affords.
  • To visually portray complex data in a clear and intelligible manner.


Students are supported through a weekly lecture programme that is designed to broaden their knowledge and understanding. A weekly lecture and seminar programme that is designed to develop a knowledge and understanding of the creation and application of images – illustrative and diagrammatic – to interaction design.

Indicative lecture content includes:

  • The master apprentice approach to learning
  • Getting Iconic
  • Illustration; Hand to Mouse
  • Illustrating Interfaces
  • Tying it All Together
  • The Visual Language of Data
  • A Cornucopia of Charts
  • Designing (and Deceiving) with Data
  • Meet Edward Tufte

Reading List


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Module details

  • Code: IXD104
  • Year: 1
  • Semester: 2
  • Credits: 20
  • Delivery: Lectures, Seminars, Workshops and Self-Directed Study
  • Co-requisites: Exploring Identity
  • GitHub Repo