Our design and development process

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The design & development process of new projects follows the following steps from initial ideas to publication on the ImpVis website:

  1. Connect with our community.
  2. Propose a new project or sign up to an advertised one.
  3. Design the visualisation based on the aims & learning objectives.
  4. Develop the visualisation in Javascript and HTML.
  5. Review of the visualisation by peers and the staff partner(s).
  6. Publication of the visualisation on the website.

1. Connecting with our community

ImpVis has three platforms of communication for separate purposes:

  • The website, which is public-facing and displays all our finalised visualisations plus current projects. If you wish to become an ImpVis member, you need to register so the site's full functionality is available to you.
  • This Wiki, which is our 'dynamic knowledgebase'. Here you can find out everything about how we work together, as well as guidance to help you design and code up your visualisation. Projects have their own associated Wiki pages which serve as 'ReadMe' files to document their aim, objectives, and development. Most of the Wiki is only visible to ImpVis members. If you are signed up to the ImpVis website, you will automatically have an associated Wiki account with the same login details. Alternatively you can create a Wiki account by clicking the 'Create Account' link at the top right of the Wiki page.
  • Our Teams space, which is the main communication platform for our team. This is where we set up meetings and discuss projects in dedicated channels. Request access to our Teams space here.

2. Getting involved on a visualisation project

Once you have connected with our community, you can get started on a project. You can choose to propose your own project, or sign up to an advertised project. Read all about how to do this here.

3. Visualisation design

A good design process is fundamental to creating an effective interactive visualisation for education. Before any coding starts, there needs to be a clear plan for ‘version 1.0’ of the visualisation. This requires defining learning objectives and creating a design sketch, including the visual and interactive elements of the visualisation. The design will need to be documented on the visualisation's dedicated Wiki page. Before you start, have a look at the following resources:

It is vital during the design phase to remain focussed on the main learning objectives. Usually the design (and development) phase inspires many further ideas; note these down in the 'Future Work' section of your Wiki page. You can design and develop these at a later phase, when your original ideas have been fully developed and uploaded. If you try to incorporate your new ideas immediately, you will find that you are likely never to have a fully developed visualisation to publish on the website!

Once all staff partners are happy with the design, they formally confirm their agreement on the website to move their project to the development stage (read here about how to do this).