San Josť State University - URBP 213
Professor Asha W. Agrawal - Fall 2008

"Problem Figures" Homework Assignment

(Due in class November 12/13)

Find two examples of published figures displaying quantitative information that contain examples of at least one of the design problems described in the Tufte and Zelazny readings.

You can look for your two examples in newspapers, magazines, or books.  You may use figures from a web page if it is produced by a major organization or institution (i.e., a government agency or a national interest group like the Sierra Club).  Do not use figures that come from less professional sources, such as personal home pages. Also, keep in mind that if you choose a figure from a web site, you should not critique problems that arise on the printed version but not on the web version of the figure.

For each figure, write a critique of why the design is problematic, citing the principle from Zelazny or Tufte that describes the problem.  If you spot additional problems beyond the types discussed by Zelazny and Tufte, note these problems as well.  Also, explain how you would recommend the author improve the figure. 

Feel free to write your critique directly on the paper with the image, as long as your handwriting is legible.


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Page last updated 17 September 2008