Synopses & Reviews
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. Visit his website at www.perceptualedge.com.
An information dashboard is a user interface that presents summarized information from several sources in one display. Perfect for business managers who need to monitor different business sectors or activities, dashboards are interactive front ends that make it easy for users to get meaningful information at a glance from large databases. (They're not to be confused with Apple's Dashboard utility in Mac OS X Tiger that features mini-applications such as stock-quote tickers, web-cam displays, calculators, etc.).
Information Dashboard Design explains what dashboards can do, and how to design them to achieve their potential as powerful presentations of important and timely information. A dashboard must be designed according to a tailored set of design principles and practices that are rooted in an understanding of human visual perception. Author Stephen Few, an information design educator and consultant, is one of a handful of people truly qualified to write a book on this subject. He focuses on design principles and hands-on, exercise-based learning. A companion web site is available to support and extend materials in the book.
About the Author
Stephen Few has over 20 years of experience as an innovator, consultant, and educator in the fields of business intelligence (a.k.a. data warehousing and decision support) and information design. Through his company, Perceptual Edge, he focuses on the effective analysis and presentation quantitative business information. Stephen is recognized as a world leader in the field of data visualization. He teaches regularly at conferences such as those presented by The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) and DCI, and also in the MBA program at the Haas School of Business at U. C. Berkeley. He is also the author of the book "Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten" (Analytics Press).
Table of Contents
CopyrightDedicationAbout the AuthorIntroductionAcknowledgmentsChapter 1: Clarifying the VisionChapter 2: Variations in Dashboard Uses and DataChapter 3: Thirteen Common Mistakes in Dashboard DesignChapter 4: Tapping into the Power of Visual PerceptionChapter 5: Eloquence Through SimplicityChapter 6: Effective Dashboard Display MediaChapter 7: Designing Dashboards for UsabilityChapter 8: Putting It All TogetherAppendix A: Recommended ReadingColophon