Do you want a dashboard design that presents all information without boring users?

It must show the latest trends and risky areas in such a way that viewers can easily imagine a bright future with your dashboard design.

Well, you are not the only one who dreams of such design.

Each dashboard designer dreams of creating a design that conveys crucial information at a glance. It must be easily navigable and take users to various areas that require their attention.

I think you are dreaming of a dashboard design that looks like this:

Image Source: datapine

It looks fascinating.

But we know that designing a dashboard is a daunting task.

That’s why I put together a list of suggestions that help you craft a perfect dashboard design based on your requirements. Whether you are a newbie or an experienced designer, you’ll surely find these tips interesting.

1. Define the purpose

Oh yes, even that simple-looking dashboard has a purpose, just like everything else in your life.

If you fail to get it right, you end-up sending wrong information to viewers and all your efforts will be in vain.

But not anymore.

Because I dug out the four common purposes of a great dashboard design from which you can choose one to frame your design in the right direction.

Purpose 1: Analytical

An analytical dashboard contains a massive amount of data created by analysts and used to offer support to executives.

Check out this example of the Analytical dashboard and notice if your information can relate to it.

Image Source: datapine

Purpose 2: Strategic

A strategic dashboard is a kind of report for monitoring the long-term strategy of businesses with the help of success and failure factors.

If you are planning a long-term strategy that leads viewers towards success, your dashboard design should like this:

Image Source: datapine

Purpose 3: Operational

An operational dashboard used to monitor and manage operations having a short time span.

Generally, it covers the number of short activities one should take to accomplish bigger goals.

Image Source: datapine

Purpose 4: Tactical

A tactical dashboard tracks the overall performance of the company which is further used to deliver analytic recommendations aiding in future strategies.

If you want to help in developing future strategies based on past and current data, the tactical dashboard should be your purpose:

Image Source: datapine

At last, make sure that your dashboard purpose aligns well with users’ roles and needs that you want to satisfy.

2. Balanced representation of data

The main goal of the dashboard design is to deliver the message at a glance. This is where you have to be extra careful regarding every little thing ranging from the data included to chart selection to the amount of text used.

Choosing the wrong chart or data may confuse users, sending them the wrong information and making them lose interest.

To save yourself from such troubles, you need a data consistency – a perfect balance of data on your dashboard. It shouldn’t be over or under, just in a balance to digest the information.

For example, imagine a wholesome meal you would like to have. It must have a few varieties in small portions so that you can enjoy each one while saving enough space in your tummy for the next food option. If it is overloaded, you can’t digest enough. And if it is underloaded, you will feel hungry (disappointed). So, it must be enough to satisfy users’ needs.

Now apply the same logic to your data. How much is needed and eliminated depends upon how much your users’ can digest?

3. Prioritize the layout and flow

Recently I read an article of an artist where he explained to make a rough sketch before filling in colors. Similarly, you can’t put all your data wherever you want. Before that, you need a rough sketch for what goes where.

Grids help you design than rough sketches and give you a good idea of the basic skeleton of your dashboard design. Grids are boxes upon which you can imagine to place your elements.

The grid helps you wrap the overall data and supports your dashboard design. It is much better than randomly placing elements anywhere following your instinct. Grid organizes your information and gives you a clear direction on what comes next.

4. Experiment with building blocks

Once you are done designing the grid, you can finally start working on multiple widgets that hold your data, information, charts, and other elements. Use cards as your content container and arrange those here and there to refine your dashboard design picture. Cards are easy to carry from one to place instead of holding the entire information. They are easy to arrange in the design.

5. Maintain a consistent white space

In the hustle and bustle of your dashboard design, never forget the importance of white space. Your users may not notice it but white space between various elements of information help readers to digest information. They work as an interval between data so that viewers get enough time to understand what each element is trying to say and how to easily turn eyes from one data to another.

If you miss white space, you may end up creating an imbalanced dashboard design. It may also lead to confusion between various data types which again misguide users on what your dashboard is trying to say.

All in all, maintain an eye-soothing white space in your dashboard design to make it look extraordinary.

At Last, You are Ready to Design a Dashboard

Once you prepare all the above-mentioned elements, you become ready to put your data on your design. You just need to drag and drop, here and there. Take help from your friends and ask them whether they understand what you are trying to say. If they can understand your dashboard design, your viewers are no different.

My last piece of advice here is to choose personalization over customization. Your dashboard design must be relevant to your viewers’ individual needs.

All the best.

Categorized in: