8 Best Practices When Designing a Dashboard


Simple, innovative, and data-driven dashboards is the new age style. One glance and the user gets what they want. No treasure hunt to find out the right options. Different dashboard design principles can help in making them more useful and sophisticated.

The main problem while designing something is the designer can get carried away. They will get too much involved in it, and there is every reason to make the design unnecessarily complicated. The design can get complex and lose its real beauty. It is often said you should never lose sight of the purpose for which you are designing. So make sure the design will help the user and not make their lives difficult.

In the blog, we will talk about the best practices to make your dashboard look interesting and useful.

The 5 Second Rule

The one main design practice to follow is the 5-second rule. The most relevant or the frequent questions asked by the stakeholders should be presented most prominently. So they don't have to spend time finding the topic. Of course, there are other non-frequent questions, too; make sure to keep it in easy vicinity.

It is best to practice the 5-second rule while designing the dashboard. So the potential stakeholder can find the answers within a few seconds. The rule is to have the most potential topic of the day should pop out from the dashboard.

The Inverted Pyramid Layout

While designing the dashboard, it is wise to follow a design principle. Inverted Pyramid is one such principle. It originated amongst the journalists. Here the topics are arranged in the order of diminishing prominence. So the most important one will come at the top and the least important one at the bottom.

So if the dashboard is presenting with some news like business or general news, then the most prominent one will top the list. In this way, you get a logical arrangement for things, and the stakeholders also will find it useful. It is one of the most logical ways of designing something.

Minimalistic Approach

It is a lesson every designer has to keep in mind. To keep the designs minimal and stylish. The designer might get tempted to use all the current design trends on the dashboard, as already mentioned. Bit it will make the dashboard and keep it cluttered. This alone will make your dashboard less attractive.

To avoid clutter, you can use hierarchies and lists. Also, make the number of topics presented on the dashboard at a time should be most minimal. For this, the designer can cut the dashboard into two if the list goes long.

Think About the Audience

Another must-have skill for any designer is the ability to see from the user’s perspective. The designer has to see the design as a user. So it is a significant factor while designing a dashboard too. You have to understand what kind of audience will be visiting the dashboard and what all information they will be looking for.

It is often said you should never lose sight of the purpose for which you are designing. So make sure the design will help the user and not make their lives difficult.

Choose the Right Layout

If your dashboard is visually organized correctly, then the ease of finding information will be good. The placement of charts and other relevant information is significant as it will help the stakeholder find the information easily and effectively.

Another important factor is to maintain the layout throughout the dashboard. If it is divided into more pages, then make sure the layout is consistent and uniform. Otherwise, it will confuse the users.

Play With Colors With Care

The colors, when mixed in the right tune, give awesome results. But one misplaced color is enough to make the whole design go bad. The modern dashboard is minimalistic and clean. It is important to watch the tone of the colors you are using. Better stick on to one color if you are not used to mixing up colors.

The right color can make the dashboard look attractive to the users. So choose the colors wisely and according to your content.

Design Consistency

Design Consistency plays a big role in the dashboard. The designer has to make sure the colors, theme, and layout is consistent throughout. Otherwise, it will confuse the user. The design consistency also makes the user trust your dashboard. It will make them familiar with the theme. Another important factor is to maintain the layout throughout the dashboard. If it is divided into more pages, then make sure the layout is consistent and uniform. Otherwise, it will confuse the user.

Use Interactive Elements

Using smart and interactive elements on the dashboard can make it more pleasing and attractive for the user. Drill downs, time interval widgets, etc., are some of the interactive elements that will go perfectly with a dashboard.

Make sure to keep the elements neat and simple. Also, it should sync with the kind of data you are sharing on the dashboard. So, in the end, it will complement the dashboard and make it fine.

The Concluding Lines

A dashboard design needs to be developed with a lot of care and planning. It has to be interactive with the user. While designing the dashboard, it is wise to follow a design principle. Inverted Pyramid is one such principle. It originated amongst the journalists. Here the topics are arranged in the order of diminishing prominence. So the most important one will come in the tops and the least important one in the bottom.

To avoid clutter, you can use hierarchies and lists. Also, make the number of topics presented on the dashboard at a time should be most minimal. For this, the designer can cut the dashboard into two if the list goes long.

While designing the dashboard of an e-commerce UX , it should contain all the submenus and the kind of products available in the store. Another significant factor is to make it approachable; the user has to know what all are present in the store without any confusion.


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