10 Things You Must Know to Pass Information Design.

  1. Your (oddly last-named) lecturer is Andrew Hawryshkewich (ac.ufs@h_werdna).
  2. Your (rockstar) teaching assistants (TAs) are Alex Honeywell (ac.ufs@ewyenoha), and Bruce Beh (ac.ufs@hebb).
  3. Please allow up to 2 business days for email replies. We may reply sooner, but not always.
  4. We do not provide critique via email. Please arrange a meeting or attend office hours.
  5. Please remember than an 'A' means you are 'exceeding expectations'.
  6. Attendance is required, and random grade-affecting checks will be held.
  7. Late submissions receive 10% per day; 10 minutes late? 10% penalty. 36 hours late? 20% penalty.
  8. If you are having concerns finishing a project on time, talk to Andrew (your lecturer) before it is due.
  9. All grade concerns must be brought up within 10 days as this is SFU policy (Section 2.4.3).
  10. Plagiarism is never tolerated. If in doubt, ask.

On the waitlist?

Super-secret tip: If you are on the waitlist, the best recommendation is to talk to the instructor and attend all the labs and lectures while you wait. That way the instructor may be more interested in having you join the course, as they don't have to catch you up on missed material!

The Complete Course Syllabus

This provides a detailed breakdown of the course, what you can expect of it, and its expectations of you.

Course Website

SFU Canvas
Instructor's Website


Andrew Hawryshkewich
Room 2816, Podium 2, SFU Surrey

Teaching Assistants (TAs)

Alex Honeywell
TA for labs E102, E104.

Bruce Beh
TA for labs E101, E103.

Email Rules

Assuming you have read the '10 Things to Pass' you should already know to allow up to two business days for responses. Please make sure to include the following in your email for speedier response times:

Please remember that We do not provide design critique via email. If you are looking for critique please visit office hours or arrange a meeting time via email.

For project, or lab questions please email your . For attendance, quiz, or grading questions please email Andrew at ac.ufs@h_werdna.

Labs and lectures

A reminder that attendance is required and random grade-affecting checks will be held both in lab and lecture. Please also know your lab number.


Tuesdays, 4:30-6:20pm
SFU Surrey, Room SUR 5240
Lecturer: Andrew Hawryshkewich (ac.ufs@h_werdna)


Lab E101
Wednesdays, 10:30-12:20pm
SFU Surrey, Room SUR 3130
TA: Bruce Beh (ac.ufs@hebb)

Lab E102
Wednesdays, 10:30-12:20pm
SFU Surrey, Room SUR 3140
TA: Alex Honeywell (ac.ufs@ewyenoha)

Lab E103
Wednesdays, 12:30-2:20pm
SFU Surrey, Room SUR 3130
TA: Bruce Beh (ac.ufs@hebb)

Lab E104
Wednesdays, 12:30-2:20pm
SFU Surrey, Room SUR 3140
TA: Alex Honeywell (ac.ufs@ewyenoha)

Course Description

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.

Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes expected for students include:

  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 will be checked at random points through the term. Each participation check will be an equally weighed portion in 5% of your final grade, and participation can only be excused for legitimate reasons (i.e. doctor's notes, large calamities, emergencies). When in doubt, email Andrew.


All readings in this course are provided as online readings or as PDFs through Canvas or the SFU Library.


There are three in lecture quizzes — two on readings, one on coding — that assess understanding of the theoretical and technical content of the course. All materials covered in the lecture or readings can be tested and hints are provided randomly in-lecture as to quiz questions.


There are the following projects in this course:

  1. Information Design — 15% (Individual)
  2. Wires — 20% (Group)
  3. HTML/CSS — 10% (Individual)
  4. Web — 30% (Group)


You will be allowed to select your groups for any teamwork in this course. In lieu of group evaluations, process deliverables for each project are graded individually, so each team member is responsible for completing their own work. Consider your group member options carefully.

All Courses Are Equal

Please remember that all courses are created equal, no one course should monopolize all your time at the detriment of your other courses. If you should find yourself in such a situation, please let your instructor know sooner rather than later.

Lab Switching

It is not permitted to change labs unless under special circumstances. You must first speak with Andrew for permission before attending another lab. Please keep in mind that there must be a lab opening with nobody on the waitlist to be able to switch labs (often unlikely).


Please note that the following — according to SFU policy 4.1.2 — constitutes plagiarism:

  1. Submitting or presenting the work of another person, including artistic imagery, as that of the student without full and appropriate accreditation;
  2. Copying all or part of an essay or other assignment from an author or other person, including a tutor or student mentor, and presenting the material as the student's original work;
  3. Failing to acknowledge the phrases, sentences or ideas of the author of published and unpublished material that is incorporated into an essay or other assignment.

Plagiarism will result in a grade reduction or school disciplinary action at the instructor's discretion. For further reference and clarification, please see SFU's academic honesty policy or ask Andrew for clarification.

Late or Incorrectly Submitted Deliverables

Late deliverables receive 10% per day late starting immediately after the deliverable is due. Allow yourself sufficient time to submit deliverables without incurring late penalties.

Files incorrectly submitted to Canvas — for example, submitting a PDF that cannot be opened — will receive a penalty on the resubmitted file of 30% plus 10% per day not resubmitted after you were contacted about the problematic submission. For example, if you do not resubmit the file until two days after the you were notified the penalty will be 50%. It is your responsibility to ensure that your deliverables make it in on-time and can be opened.

Grading Breakdown

5% — Participation
20% — Quizzes
30% — Group Projects
45% — Individual Projects

Grading Scale

All the grades in this course tally to 100% to make it easier to track progress through the term. To translate the percentage to a letter grade, this course uses the SIAT standard grading scale for final letter grades:

95% > A+ < 100%
90% > A < 95%
85% > A- < 90%
80% > B+ < 85%
75% > B < 80%
70% > B- < 75%
65% > C+ < 70%
60% > C < 65%
55% > C- < 60%
50% > D < 55%
0% > F < 50%