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Expert Design Secrets To Radically Up Your DataVis Game

Data visualisation has become an essential skill for business people, managers and researchers everywhere. This microcredential will provide participants with the language and core principles to understand and harness the power of visual communication, in order to make more impressive and persuasive data visualisations, diagrams and information graphics.

About this microcredential

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 throughout the course will introduce core concepts. Hands-on workshops will lead you through practical exercises to build your confidence when implementing these fundamental design ideas and techniques in your work.

This microcredential will enable you 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 your task and how to present them in a powerful and persuasive way. You will learn to harness the power of design using everyday tools and software with which you are familiar. The course will focus on the effective application of design principles - data-science programming and software training are not covered in the course content.

Key benefits of this microcredential

By completing this microcredential, you will learn fundamental design and storytelling principles to produce more effective, ethical and persuasive charts and infographics.

This microcredential aligns with the 3 credit point subject, The Power of Design: to Make Impactful Charts and Infographics (89038), in the Master of Design (C04243).

This microcredential may qualify for recognition of prior learning at this and other institutions.

Who should do this microcredential?

This microcredential is for non-designers, who none-the-less use design and design visualisations in their work and communications. It will benefit those in the fields of:

  • Business
  • Management
  • Communication
  • Marketing
  • Health
  • Science
  • Startups.


Full price: $2,195 (GST-free)*

Special price: $1,750 (GST-free)* Early bird price is available until 31 December 2021

*Price subject to change. Please check price at time of purchase. 

Discounts are available for this course. For further details and to verify if you qualify, please check the Discounts section under Additional course information

Enrolment conditions

COVID-19 response 

Additional course information

Course outline

Day 1 (session 1) – Introduction:

  • Introductions - meet your presenter and cohort
  • Course overview.

Day 1 (session 2) - It’s all about context:

  • A brief history of data visualisation
  • Understanding your audience
  • Understanding intent: what is the job to be done?
  • The science of seeing.

Day 1 (session 3) - Storytelling with charts:

  • An anatomy of charts
  • Types and uses for different charts
  • The essential questions to ask
  • The four types of charts
  • Exercise - planning a chart.

Day 2 (session 1) - Design principles for graphics:

  • The four steps
  • Choosing your chart
  • Using your voice
  • Leaving it out.

Day 2 (session 2) - Managing colour:

  • Using type
  • Controlling layout
  • Concept diagrams
  • Creating a picture
  • Visualising an ecosystem
  • Dealing with too much data.

Day 2 (session 3) - Using charts to find insight and to persuade:

  • Exercise - concept visualisation.

Day 2 (session 4) - Your challenge:

  • Briefing.

Day 3 (online):

  • Presenting your challenge
  • Group critique and feedback sessions.

Day 4 - Recap summary of key insights:

  • Q&A
  • Resources.

Day 5 (online):

  • Final presentations

Course delivery

This course will be taught primarily through face-to-face learning and hands-on workshops. Pre-learning and follow up feedback sessions will take place remotely, over Zoom. Supplementary material will be available through UTS Canvas.

Course learning objectives

By completing this microcredential, you’ll have a better understanding of how to:

  • Read and think critically about charts and diagrams
  • Choose the right chart type
  • Create the right charts for your task
  • Use simple design principles to make vastly better graphics
  • Appeal to and persuade your audience.


Assessment will be pass/fail



  • Participants are required to bring a pen, paper and laptop computer.


Discounts are available for this course as follows:

  • 10% discount for UTS alumni, students and staff
  • 10% discount for 3 or more enrolments from the same organisation.

Discounts cannot be combined and only one discount can be applied per person per course session. Discounts can only be applied to the full price. Discounts cannot be applied to any offered special price. 

How to obtain your discount voucher code

  • Please contact the team at with your student number or details of group enrolments, to obtain your discount voucher code. Note that group enrolments will not be validated until the minimum number of criteria enrolments have been received.

How to apply your discount voucher 

  • If you are eligible for a UTS alumni discount, please ensure you have provided your UTS student number in your UTS Open Profile (under “A bit about you”). If you have forgotten your UTS student number, email with your full name, UTS degree and year of commencement.  
  • Add this course to your cart 
  • Click on "View Cart" (blue shopping trolley at top right of screen). You will need to sign in or sign up to UTS Open 
  • Enter your eligible code beneath the “Have a code?” prompt and click on the blue "Apply" button 
  • Verify your voucher code has been successfully applied before clicking on the blue "Checkout" button. 

On-campus and onsite course logistics


  • Morning and afternoon tea are provided for this course. If you have any dietary requirements, please email


29 January




6 wks


Avg 10 hrs p/w

Meet the expert

James de Vries

James de Vries
Design Leader and Advisor at de Luxe & Associates

James is founder and director of de Luxe & Associates, an Australian-based strategic design consultancy that has worked with global media and editorial clients on design and publishing strategy projects. James was Senior Director, Strategy, at Second Road—an Accenture strategy company employing design methods to build a strategic vision and reimagine value-creation for clients across all enterprise sectors.

From 2011 to the end of 2017, James worked in the USA as Creative Director at Harvard Business Review. This role centred around building design quality and harnessing design to transform the legendary brand from a traditional heritage business to a dynamic digital media organisation, resulting in significant increases in sales, subscribers and commercial revenue.

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Book a session

Sat 29 Jan 2022 -
Tue 22 Feb 2022
Expert: James de Vries
  • UTS – Venue TBC
  • Blended
  • 5 sessions, 19 hours total
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