Streamlining Dashboard Design: Key Takeaways and Best Practices

by Jeffrey Brian Thompson

Creating a dashboard from a conceptual sketch involves more than just technical skills; it demands a thoughtful approach to design and user experience. Here are some tips and best practices based on recent project where we were tasked to take over a dashboard sketch and some reflections that can enhance your future dashboard projects.

1. Contextualise Your Data

  • Enrich key metrics with context. Adding historical data or benchmarks provides a comprehensive view, making the data more relatable and understandable.

2. Dynamic Visualisation

  • Convert static elements into interactive components. This not only enriches the dashboard but also makes it a more engaging tool for analysis.

3. Facilitate Comparisons

  • Consider multi-line charts for showcasing multiple variables. It simplifies comparison, aiding in quicker, more insightful analysis.

4. Enhance Interactivity

  • Clearly instruct users on interactive features. Visible guides on how to interact with the dashboard improve the user experience.

5. Focus on Relevance

  • Prioritise data that offers the most insight. Sometimes, presenting data as percentages or relative measures can be more impactful than absolute numbers - give context to help tell the full story!

Technical Insight: Embrace unexpected findings, such as a lack of correlation where one was anticipated. These insights can lead to valuable discoveries and can help lead to strategic decisions.

The journey from sketch to a fully realised dashboard is a process of continuous improvement. By adopting these tips and practices, you can create dashboards that are not only visually appealing but also highly functional and user-friendly.