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Expert Design Secrets To Radically Up Your DataVis Game



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Mixed (online and in-person)


6 wks


Avg 10 hrs/wk

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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)*

*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

Course purchase is subject to UTS Open Terms and Conditions. 

COVID-19 response 

UTS complies with latest Government health advice. Delivery of all courses complies with the UTS response to COVID-19.

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



  • To complete this course, you will need a personal computer with an operating system and web browser compatible with Canvas.
  • You will also be required to bring a pen, paper and laptop computer to on-site sessions.


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 during checkout. 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. 

Acknowledgement of Country

UTS acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the Boorooberongal people of the Dharug Nation, the Bidiagal people and the Gamaygal people, upon whose ancestral lands our university stands. We would also like to pay respect to the Elders both past and present, acknowledging them as the traditional custodians of knowledge for these lands.