9 Simple Tips for Designing Effective Dashboards

Do you want to present your audience with a dashboard that is easily understandable, yet contains all the vital information? Use these nine simple tips to design an effective dashboard.

A dashboard is created to help your audience to quickly analyse and comprehend data within a short span of time. This is why your dashboard must be carefully designed. Are you looking for strategies to make the information on your dashboard easily understandable? Here are nine tips to design a simple yet effective business dashboard.

  1. Stick with a clear and consistent naming convention

    While creating a dashboard, make sure to clearly name and explain the metrics, units of measurements and the values shown in your visualization. Keep this pattern consistent in all your visualizations.

  2. Select the same display icons

    While using display icons, make sure to stick to a handful of icons and consistently use it across all your visualizations. For instance, if you use a blue check mark to show a positive value in one visualization, do not use a blue square in the next visualization.

  3. Use a single format for dates

    Displaying a date on a dashboard is a great way to offer context to the information. However, make sure to stick to a single format, so that your users can easily process information.

  4. Choose appropriate time frames

    Try to not use multiple types of time frames on a single data dashboard, such as, last year, this quarter or the last 30 days. If you are going to display historical data along with a rolling time frame, make sure to line up the time frame and also clearly label it.

  5. Opt for a consistent colour scheme

    Green means good and red means bad. Most people will get this when looking at your dashboard. However, they may not understand that blue is for improving, yellow is for neutral, orange is for declining or grey is for no change. This is where things can get confusing. Always remember to use a simple and consistent color scheme.

  6. Be selective about how much data you are going to display

    If some of the data does not add to your story, ask yourself why you are showing it. The only exception that you should go by is when your audience wants more data.

  7. Simplify complex data sets with filters and menus

    Do you want to avoid showing a complex data set? You can still showcase the data set to your users through the use of drop-down menus. These menus will allow your users to quickly sort and filter the data that they are viewing.

  8. Create a design that is device specific

    Think about how your dashboard is going to be viewed. Is it going to be viewed on a mobile device or on an LCD TV? Keep in mind that the differences between devices can have a huge impact on how your dashboard is viewed and understood.

  9. Understand your audience

    Find out what your audience wants from the dashboard. A careful analysis of your audience, their data reporting requirements and how they will be using your dashboard should be used as a guide when you make your design decisions. For instance, an executive will want to view a very different sales dashboard from a sales director who will be looking for a simple salesforce dashboard. You will need to design your dashboard according to your audience.

Did you find these tips helpful? Let us know your views in the comments box below. We, at Outsource2india love to hear from you!

At Outsource2india, we offer custom dashboard creation services. Our team of dashboard creation experts can customize your dashboard as per your exact specification. You can be assured that the data on your dashboard will be presented in a simple, yet effective manner. Find out more about our dashboard creation services.

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