Module 7: Accessibility, Interfaces, and Data Visualization

Module 7 is an introduction to the basics of accessibility, interfaces, and data visualization. It is heavy on the (short) readings/discussions but there are a few technical activities to encourage you to begin applying your new understanding of accessibility to DH projects and websites, as well as an optional data visualization activity with Tableau.


1. watch my presentation on data visualization (available on class Basecamp); the preattentive procession website I show is at

2. explore some of the recent visualizations on Tableau Public. What visualizations seem to work and why? Which ones don’t work and why not?

Having trouble choosing a visualization? Try a historical visualization recreated in Tableau, like Charles Minard’s Napoleon’s March (analyzed here) or this analysis of Snow’s map of the 1854 London cholera outbreak.

3. read Jon Kolko, “Design Thinking Comes of Age” (2015).

4. read Tara L. Andrews and Joris J. van Zundert, “What Are You Trying to Say? The Interface as an Integral Element of Argument,” in Roman Bleier, Martina Bürgermeister, Helmut W. Klug, Frederike Neuber, and Gerlinde Schneider, eds. Digital Scholarly Editions as Interfaces, (Norderstedt: Boods on Demand, 2018).

5. read Mitchell Whitelaw, “Generous Interfaces for Digital Cultural Collections, ” Digital Humanities Quarterly 9, no. 1 (2015).

6. read Collinge, Robyn. “How to Design for Color Blindness.” Usabilla Blog (blog), January 17, 2017.

7. read Megan R. Brett, Jessica M. Otis, Mills Kelly, “Reframing the Conversation: Digital Humanists, Disabilities, and Accessibility” Debates in DH 2022 (forthcoming, available on class Basecamp).

8. read “Cognitive Accessibility.” MDN Web Docs.

9. read

10. participate in the Slack discussion

Technical Activities (Required):

1. pick a DH project we’ve looked at in this class (or mentioned/discussed in Slack) and examine its website using the WAVE Accessibility Evaluation Tool

2. evaluate your personal website and/or class blog using and the A11y project checklist, then see if you can improve your site’s accessibility

3. check out Color Brewer and use its guidance to reevaluate the color choices you made while working with QGIS in module 4

Technical Activities (Optional):

4. sign up for Tableau Public and try to create a visualization with data of your own (see Tableau Basics for Beginners for a walkthrough of how to use the program)