Why are Dashboards important?
What are Dashboards used for?
Dashboard Design Principles
Click the "+ principles" for more info.
Be clear on the Purpose:
Know the Audience:
How will the dashboard be viewed?
Keep it clear:
The best dashboards allow the user to quickly see and understand the most important information. Apply the following to help ensure this is true of your dashboard.
- Adopt minimalist design; Less is more. Don’t try and put all of the information on the same page. The first dashboard view should be a summary of the most important metrics. You shouldn’t have to scroll or zoom to see more information. If it’s not essential, don’t have it.
- Use tabs to present more detailed information by theme
- Ensure the eye is naturally drawn to the most important elements of the dashboard.
- Choose the right visualisations: Read more here.
- Use consistent, comparable scales: try and use consistent scales so that the data is easily comparable, and is less prone to hasty misinterpretation.
- Ensure information is contextual; is performance good or bad? Relative to what
- Understand how the data is obtained (dangers of misleading data)
- Provide clear tiles & axis labels; can someone understand it without any explanation?
- Colours: Keep the pallet of colours small. Saturated colours draw the eye. You can use this purposefully. RAG; be purposeful when using colours that have existing connotations. Red (problem), Amber (potentially a problem), Green (No problem)
- Aesthetics: Beauty can help with the purpose of the dashboard. Make it something that people enjoy looking at. Modern dashboard designs are minimalist, clean and ‘flat’.
See this example below for inspiration:
Make it actionable;
Dashboards should be used to inform and drive action. Keep this in mind whilst you are designing your dashboard with the following points:
- What is the action(s) the audience of the dashboard take as a result of the information on the different metrics the dashboard?
- Does the planned visualisation equip the audience with sufficient information to take informed action?
- Can the audience quickly access the relevant information to inform action?
- How frequently refreshed does the data need to be? Real time is often aspired to, but it may not always be appropriate. It can focus the audience’s attention on recent ‘noise’, rather than the important trends or big picture.
- If real time data really is important, then consider building in an alert system so that the relevant people are alerted when immediate action is required. For example, if a critical system goes down, you don’t want to run the risk that the right people aren’t looking at the dashboard at that exact moment.
- Does the dashboard perform at the required level? Is the dashboard responsive or does it leave users frustrated with loading times?
Do you think that something else should be included? What would you add (or subtract)?
Please comment below!