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Visuals are important, not the numbers

  • Mar 21, 2010

Biggest Takeaway
The visuals are the most important part of a dashboard. You can usually do without the numbers or hide them in drilldowns or rollovers. You can almost always remove tabular data.

People comprehend information by using comparison and finding patterns. For example, use a red diamond to draw attention to issues. Things that are good or neutral can usually be left unadorned since only the bad events are what really matters. If everything is color coded green, yellow, red, the red does not stand out. If you only color the bad things red and leave the others as grey then it is really easy to spot problems from afar.

Best Quote
"Dashboards are for monitoring! Let me know if there are any problems, otherwise I'm going to go back to work."

Examples of Bullet Graphs

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March 22, 2010
Very interesting panel.  I'm always interested in how these things get designed and what gets prioritized.  If you're interesed in UX, you might be interested in this User Experience Design Resources community.  Thanks for sharing this, David! :)
About the reviewer
David Garcia ()
Ranked #20
Member Since: Mar 21, 2010
Last Login: Jun 2, 2010 06:26 PM UTC
About this activity


Event Description:
Effective dashboard design delivers on the promise of targeted, accessible, and actionable information for organizations looking to maximize their profits. Through good, bad, and very ugly examples, you will learn about practical design techniques and challenges that dashboard designers face today.

Panelists include:
Aaron Hursman (

Ballroom A
Tuesday, March 16 at 11:00 am
view wiki


Type: Panel
Location: Ballroom A
Date(s): Tuesday March 16

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