The Dashboard Design Principles

The Dashboard Design Principles


In this guide, you will learn the fundamental elements that are involved in dashboard design. You will learn the various definitions related to dashboards and be exposed to various dashboard characteristics. This information will help you design dashboards that are both beautiful and functional.

This guide isn’t targeted to a specific type of software. The concepts learned in this guide can be applied to any tool available.

Let’s begin with a basic introduction to dashboards. Then, as you continue through this guide, you will learn advanced concepts and finish with some suggested reading you can pick up to continue your quest to create amazing dashboards.

This guide was developed in partnership with Visual.is.


Duration: 2 hours

Skill level: Beginner

Language: English

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Why are dashboard designs so important?

“Most dashboards fail to communicate efficiently and effectively, not because of inadequate technology (at least not primarily), but because of poorly designed information display.”

– Stephen Few
Innovator, consultant, and educator in the fields of
business intelligence and information design

“Effective design is crucial for dashboards. A good information design will clearly communicate key information to users and makes supporting information easily accessible.”

– Richard Brath e Michael Peterpx

“A great dashboard turns a good tool into a great product by making it accessible to the mass public. Designed correctly, a dashboard doesn’t only decrease the learning curve of new users—it increases productivity for avid users.”

– Daniel O’Sullivan
User Experience Designer

“A well-designed smart dashboard can save a lot of time and help quickly identify information that matters in order to make proper reports. Dashboard designs must think of avoiding clutter, highlighting important info and prioritizing metrics.”

– Nancy Young
UX/UI Strategic Designer

Start learning how to design awesome dashboards

1. Introduction to Dashboards

1.1. What is a dashboard?
1.2. Dashboard Examples
1.3. Why use dashboards?
1.4. Types of Dashboards
1.5. Key Characteristics of a Dashboard

2. The Principles of Visual Design for Dashboards

2. The Principles of Visual Design for Dashboards
2.1. Visual Perception and Cognition
2.2. Attentive and Pre-Attentive Processing
2.3. The Gestalt Principles
2.4. Conventional Dashboard Design Principles

3. Colors Palettes for Dashboards

3. Colors Palettes for Dashboards
3.1. Dashboards Palettes Colors Examples

4. Display methods

4.1. Data visualizations
4.2. Chart Types to Avoid
4.3. Eliminating Chartjunk
4.4. Table Design

5. Focus on the user’s needs

5. Focus on the user’s needs

6. Getting inspiration

6. Getting inspiration
6.1. Specialized Design Sites
6.2. Google Images
6.3. Pinterest

7. Books to Create Better Dashboards

7. Books to Create Better Dashboards

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Lucas Sanroma

Dashboard Designer & BI Analyst

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