Maintain Consistency for Quick and Accurate Interpretation

Differences in appearance always prompt us to search, whether consciously or unconsciously, for the significance of those differences. Anything that means the same thing or functions in the same way ought to look the same wherever it appears on a dashboard. Even something as subtle as arbitrarily using dark axis lines on one graph and light axis lines on another will lead viewers to suspect that this difference, which is in fact arbitrary, is significant.

It's important to maintain consistency not only in the visual appearance of the display media, but in your choice of display media as well. If two sections of data involve the same type of quantitative relationship (such as a time series) and are intended for similar use (for example, to compare a measure to a target measure for each month), you should use the same type of display for both (for example, a bar graph). Never vary the means of display for the sake of variety. Always select the medium that best communicates the data and its message, even if that means that your dashboard consists of the same type of graph throughout.


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



Information Dashboard Design. The Effective Visual Communication of Data
Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual Communication of Data
ISBN: 0596100167
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 80
Authors: Stephen Few

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