There are many ways to approach dashboard layout and design. However, you will find the most value in starting with a fixed layout. A fixed layout will create a basic narrative, allowing users to rapidly identify if an action is needed, the process needed to understand what that action is and why it is needed. Moving forward, the layout can then be adjusted as necessary.
The Simple Approach to Dashboard Layout
Overall, your dashboard layout will have four areas that can be largely standardized across platforms. This will allow a consistent user experience whether it is created in Tableau, Qlikview, Qlik Sense, Power BI, etc. The four areas are:
• Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
How to Tell a Basic Story Through the Dashboard Layout
There is an ideal flow for your generic enterprise dashboard template. Opening the dashboard should land users on the home or summary tab. The journey begins by selecting the navigation tabs. From there, the user scans the KPIs to get a pulse of the state of the business. The summary charts will make it easily identifiable should there be any call to action, typically using color.
If there is a user action based on the data, but it is not clear exactly what, then the user is visually directed to one or more of the detailed charts either by color association and/or comments.
More focused exploration can happen on the other tabs of the dashboard, accessible via the navigation tabs.
In this example, we can see the projected revenue for the week is below target. This is indicated by the orange colored KPI. Scanning to the main dashboard area for more orange lands us on the inventory chart. Here we can see the stock count is only 200, but we are projected to sell 5,000 units.
Since we have tied an action to each chart then we know to call a specific number and find out what is happening with the inventory. Do we need to ship more units or is it simply a case of the inventory count being inaccurate? Either way, an action is required.
With this simple layout of a dashboard you can see how a basic narrative can lead to powerful change. We use the word “simple” to describe the design but making it simple requires a lot of ground work. To learn more, click here: https://www.logic2020.com/dashboard-design-training
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