At World IA Day 2015 in Ann Arbor, Selwyn Kancharla shared lessons learned from building RazorFlow, an open source HTML5 dashboard framework, and how they will help you in creating happiness for your users.
Here are my notes from his talk:
- Break conventions. Dashboards may fail to communicate effectively since designers often copy patterns from others. Before breaking conventions, be sure to understand the context in your dashboard or your app. Don’t just break a convention for the sake of breaking. Example: building collaboration within the dashboard.
- Simplify. Remove content that doesn’t support data. Every item you add competes with space, attention, and action. Drill down if necessary. Whitespace is good; don’t clutter your dashboard.
- Info at first sight. Primary goal of a dashboard is to display all info that is required in one glance. Make it easy to read, understand, and monitor. Provide context around the metrics you’re showing, maintain visual hierarchy. Show info that is actionable.
- Get extra makeup out of the way. Don’t abuse color or typography. 3D is problematic in dashboards. At each step, question whether visual design aids context.
You can find Kancharla’s Lessons from Dashboard Design presentation slides on Slideshare.