As Stephen Few points out in this critical analysis of an Oracle Dashboard, here are the points to remember.
Don’t just throw your resources, assemble the data sources to put together a dashboard, Paint them in un-necessary 3-D graphics and Glassy gradients.
Some quick analysis summary
- All of the graphs use 3D to encode 2-D data. The third dimension adds no value but does succeed in making the values harder to decode.
- Neither display is sufficiently data-rich. In creating a dashboard, it’s important to put all of information that people might want to compare together on a single screen. Even when people probably won’t compare values, it’s easier and more efficient for them to work with a well-designed single page than it is to work with multiple data-sparse screens. The size of the graphs alone—giant pies and single bars that take up a quarter of the screen—indicates that much more information could have be included on the display. It’s likely that, given a proper layout, multiple screens would not even have been necessary.
- The borders between graphs are unnecessarily salient, which makes it more difficult to track between them to make comparisons.
- All of the tick marks used are redundant; they are not necessary when gridlines are used.