University of Technology Sydney

89038 The Power of Design: to Make Impactful Charts and Infographics

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2022 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Design, Architecture and Building: Design
Credit points: 3 cp
Result type: Pass fail, no marks


In this stubject students learn powerful design principles for making better, more persuasive charts and infographics.

As data visualization becomes an essential skill for business people, managers and researchers everywhere, this subject provides students with the language and core principles to understand and harness the power of visual communication to make more impressive and persuasive data visualisations, diagrams and information graphics.

James de Vries uses the lens of his career in editorial and strategic design to introduce the principles and practices needed to produce persuasive, effective and ethical charts, data visualisations, diagrams and infographics.

Short, informal lectures and discussion groups introduce core concepts. Hands-on workshops lead students through practical exercises that build their confidence in implementing these fundamental design ideas and techniques in their work.

This subject enables students to think more critically and creatively about what goes into making good (and bad) visualisations, how to create and refine the most appropriate and effective visualisations for their task, and how to present them in a powerful and persuasive way.

Completing this subject allows students to harness the power of design using the everyday tools and software with which they are familiar. Its focus is on the effective application of design principles; data-science programming and software training are not covered.

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

The term CAPRI is used for the five Design, Architecture and Building faculty graduate attribute categories where:

C = communication and groupwork

A = attitudes and values

P = practical and professional

R = research and critique

I = innovation and creativity.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs) are linked to these categories using codes (e.g. C-1, A-3, P-4, etc.).

Minimum requirements

The DAB attendance policy requires students to attend no less than 80% of formal teaching sessions (lectures and tutorials) for each class they are enrolled in to remain eligible for assessment. Records of lecture/forum attendance will be kept. Students are expected to come to tutorials adequately prepared. This means doing the readings and watching the videos and be ready to discuss them. The readings, lectures and tutorials are an interconnected system where if one part suffers the whole suffers as a result. If students are concerned about their literacy skills they are encouraged to contact the UTS Higher Education Language and Presentation Support (HELPS) service as early as possible.