Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual by Stephen Few

By Stephen Few

Dashboards became well known lately as uniquely robust instruments for speaking vital info at a look. even supposing dashboards are in all probability strong, this strength is never learned. the best show expertise on this planet won't clear up this if you happen to fail to take advantage of potent visible layout. And if a dashboard fails to inform you exactly what you want to comprehend instantly, you'll by no means use it, whether it's packed with lovely gauges, meters, and site visitors lighting fixtures. Don't allow your funding in dashboard expertise visit waste.

This publication will train you the visible layout talents you must create dashboards that speak sincerely, quickly, and compellingly. Information Dashboard Design will clarify how to:

* stay away from the 13 errors universal to dashboard design
* offer audience with the knowledge they wish quick and clearly
* practice what we now find out about visible conception to the visible presentation of information
* reduce distractions, cliches, and pointless elaborations that create confusion
* manage enterprise details to aid which means and usability
* Create an aesthetically wonderful viewing experience
* preserve consistency of layout to supply actual interpretation
* Optimize the ability of dashboard know-how by means of pairing it with visible effectiveness

Stephen Few has over two decades of expertise as an IT innovator, advisor, and educator. As relevant of the consultancy Perceptual aspect, Stephen specializes in info visualization for studying and speaking quantitative company details. He offers consulting and coaching companies, speaks often at meetings, and teaches within the MBA software on the college of California in Berkeley. he's additionally the writer of Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten.

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Example text

It is useful to provide a visually prominent display of the primary information and to subdue the supporting context somewhat, so that it doesn't get in the way when the dashboard is being quickly scanned for key points. ) does a better job than those in Figure 3‐4 of using a gauge effectively.  In a way, this problem is the opposite extreme of the one we examined in the previous sectiontoo much information rather than too little.  With a dashboard, every unnecessary piece of information results in time wasted trying to filter out what's important, which is intolerable when time is of the essence.

Lastly, the maps in the background of the three upper graphs, though visually muted, still distract from the data itself.  This dashboard exhibits several examples of dysfunctional decoration.  The remaining point that I want to emphasize here is that color should not be used haphazardly.  Tufte, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press, 1983), 80.  In Chapter 4, Tapping into the Power of Visual Perception, we'll learn a bit about color and how it can be used meaningfully and powerfully.

This content is thoroughly covered in my book Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten, so I won't repeat myself here. Instead, I'll simply illustrate the problem with a few examples.  Look at it for a moment and see if you can identify aspects of its design that inhibit quick and easy interpretation.  This pie chart illustrates several design problems.  This forces our eyes to bounce back and forth between the graph and the legend to glean meaning, which is a waste of time and effort when the slices could have been labeled directly.

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