Dashboards have become popular in recent years as uniquely powerful tools for communicating important information at a glance. Although dashboards are potentially powerful, this potential is rarely realized. The greatest display technology in the world won't solve this if you fail to use effective visual design. And if a dashboard fails to tell you precisely what you need to know in an instant, you'll never use it, even if it's filled with cute gauges, meters, and traffic lights. Don't let your investment in dashboard technology go to waste.
This book will teach you the visual design skills you need to create dashboards that communicate clearly, rapidly, and compellingly. Information Dashboard Design will explain how to:
- Avoid the thirteen mistakes common to dashboard design
- Provide viewers with the information they need quickly and clearly
- Apply what we now know about visual perception to the visual presentation of information
- Minimize distractions, cliches, and unnecessary embellishments that create confusion
- Organize business information to support meaning and usability
- Create an aesthetically pleasing viewing experience
- Maintain consistency of design to provide accurate interpretation
- Optimize the power of dashboard technology by pairing it with visual effectiveness
Stephen Few has over 20 years of experience as an IT innovator, consultant, and educator. As Principal of the consultancy Perceptual Edge, Stephen focuses on data visualization for analyzing and communicating quantitative business information. He provides consulting and training services, speaks frequently at conferences, and teaches in the MBA program at the University of California in Berkeley. He is also the author of Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten.
Have some good ideas, but could be shorter with no loss of content.
By Jose Ernesto Passos
- March 17, 2006
After reading this book I have the following positive points to make:
.. It is very well designed, it is nice to look at it.
.. Has some good ideas (but they are not original ones).
.. In general, following its advice you will be able to do a better design of dashboards and management information systems screens.
If I counted only this I would give it 5 stars, but, I think this book has some negative points. One of the points makes the author inconsistent with his own recommendations throughout the book.
The book is about designing dashboards and the major line of thought is:
- keep it simple, clean and objective.
- Use the tools (graphics and tables) in a rational way.
- don't use all the fancy features that software vendors put in their products for they will make your dashboard less effective.
But the author when writing it, forgot part of his own teachings and produced a text that is very... read more
Its all about the dashboard...
By Eric Wuehler
- February 16, 2006
I am currently working (as a software developer) on building a platform which incorporates a dashboard, so this book caught my attention. I learned a lot more than I ever really wanted to know about dashboard design aesthetics, visual perception and color theory; but if you're looking for a one-stop-shop detailing dashboard design, this is the book.
From the perspective of a software developer, I found the chapter "Thirteen Common Mistakes in Dashboard Design" quite useful. It discusses (obviously) thirteen "no-nos" when designing a dashboard. It has plenty of pictures illustrating the mistakes and describing helpful alternatives. The book is quick to read, the examples and critiques are explained well and easy to follow.
Not having a design background, I don't feel qualified to comment on the content other than to say it all made sense to me. :) I did, however, loan the book to one of our in-house design guys - he said it was "pretty good" and would... read more
Beautiful book with plenty of design insight (and examples)...
By Thomas Duff "Duffbert"
- April 16, 2006
One of the system architecture ideas that has waxed and waned over the years is the concept of an Information Dashboard... a single screen of data that summarizes key data points for quick monitoring by executives. But just throwing a few graphs on the web page isn't necessarily the right thing to do. Stephen Few covers the subject of dashboard design in his book Information Dashboard Design : The Effective Visual Communication of Data.
Contents: Clarifying the Vision; Variations in Dashboard Uses and Data; Thirteen Common Mistakes in Dashboard Design; Tapping Into the Power of Visual Perception; Eloquence Through Simplicity; Effective Dashboard Display Media; Designing Dashboards for Usability; Putting it All Together; Appendix; Index
For someone like me (not a whiz when it comes to graphic design) to really like a book of this nature is saying something. I actually understood everything he was writing, and I didn't think this was some self-serving "listen... read more