Where functionality and art come together to help organizations grow and thrive.
Well-designed and intuitive dashboard design enhances productivity in almost every area of life, allowing users to quickly make sense of complex data and make informed decisions that lead to more positive outcomes. With visually appealing and user-friendly interfaces, dashboards empower individuals and organizations to effectively monitor, analyze, and optimize their performance across their most critical areas, such as marketing, profitability, and human resources.
Data is not sexy, but data visualization is a social phenomena and is changing the way leading organizations do business across the world.
When most people hear the word dashboard, they think of something in their car. However, in the digital world the dashboard has become king, and for good reason.
A data dashboard is an information management tool that visually tracks, analyzes and displays key performance indicators (KPI), metrics and key data points to monitor the health of a business, department or specific process.
The key function or asset of a dashboard is that behind the scenes, a dashboard connects to your files, attachments, services and API’s; while on the surface, displaying all this data in the form of tables, line charts, bar charts and gauges for easy, digestible data comprehension.
Most people appreciate a level of animation in a user experience as long as it the role of enhances the user experience.
However, in the world of dashboards, animation plays the critical role of providing further explanation of the data and giving the user customized ways to drill down on the information. A good example of this is when a user is able to grab a data point and move it across a timeline to see how the data has changed over time.
Intuitive and engaging dashboards rely heavily on design that is simple and accommodating for ample amounts of information. Finding the nexus between showing the most critical and useful information and not causing information overload requires a veteran staff of UI designers and working very closely with the client to understand their needs on an intimate level.
The all-in-one, one-for-all data resource. Data that is delivered in real time is essential, everything else is ancient history.
A data dashboard is the most efficient way to track multiple data sources in real time, because it provides a central location for businesses to monitor and analyze performance.
Real-time monitoring and automation tools reduce the hours of analyzing a long line of communication that previously challenged businesses.
Analytics, trends, occurrences, and the processing and compiling of data can all be done through dashboards via different application processing interfaces (APIs), freeing up exorbitant amounts of time and staff energy.
The business of dashboards is the business of understanding. How do dashboards solve everyday business challenges? If your are a busy manager, let me introduce you to your next best friend.
An understanding or overview of your company's performance is moments away. As a concept, performance dashboards have been around for many years and reports indicate that they have been widely adopted by businesses.
Data is visualized on a dashboard as tables, line charts, bar charts and gauges so that users can track the health of their business against benchmarks and goals is now a critical service for any business. Data dashboards allow data to be easily displayed, understood and paves the way to monitor and improve your business through visual representations.
Depending on how you decide to design your dashboard, even straightforward numerical data can be visually informative by utilizing intuitive symbols, such as a red triangle facing downward to indicate a drop in revenue or a green triangle facing up to indicate an increase in website traffic.
For example, a survey by The Data Warehousing Institute reported that about half of the 473 business intelligence professionals were using dashboards and that a further 17% of the respondents were in the process of developing a dashboard solution in their organizations (Eckerson). Also, a more recent survey by Gartner Inc. found that dashboards have been rapidly replacing reporting and ad-hoc analysis in Western organizations (Sallam).
Intelligence can be taught–well, kinda.
Interested in finding out how data dashboards are used in business intelligence and analytics?
According to Wikipedia: “Analytics is the discovery, interpretation, and communication of meaningful patterns in data. Especially valuable in areas rich with recorded information, analytics relies on the simultaneous application of statistics, computer programming and operations research to quantify performance. Analytics often favors data visualization to communicate insight.”
Analytics dashboard is a data visualization tool that allow all users to understand analytics without having to do one single calculation or spend any time learning about what is presented. Even for non-technical users, dashboards allow them to participate and understand the analytics by compiling data and visualizing trends and occurrences. Data dashboards don’t rely on interpretation, they provide a completely objective view of performance metrics and serve as an effective foundation for immediate business decisions and planning. Business intelligence dashboard is a tool used to display data visualizations that are immediately useful.
Our team of UI designers has displayed the most important and useful information in a professional dashboard, by providing professional UI design services to the client.
Why should your business visualize data on a dashboard?
Changes to any aspect of a business, whether it be in marketing, sales, support, or finance, has an impact on the business as a whole. KPI dashboards give an immediate and precise look at how different departments success or failures are impacting the company as a whole.
People have been monitoring their businesses without dashboards for ages, but data dashboards make it a heck of a lot easier that can stop you from wasting time and money. With dashboards, users are able to dig into a level of performance understanding that provides an articulate and insightful view of the KPIs of any organizations. Whether your businesses data is stored on a web service, attachment or API, a dashboard pulls this information and allows you to monitor all your data in one central location. Additionally, dashboards are capable of correlating data from different sources in a single visualization. By monitoring multiple KPIs and metrics on one central dashboard, users can make adjustments to their business practices in real-time.
As the saying goes: sometimes less is more. Find out why below.
After years of designers coming up with new ways to improve the user interface (UI), user interface design is going back to basics — at least according to some big name companies, including Google and Microsoft, to name a few.
Glossy icons are replaced by simpler one-color versions or text-based buttons, with rich gradients with simple solid color combinations. Just take a look at some of the new Windows interface designs, or Pinterest templates.
It may be because the rest of our lives are too hectic for our own good, or that we just like solid primary colors because of how we revere our first set of color building blocks. For the majority of users, this lack of visual detail works astonishingly well — the interface is easy to digest and its elements don’t get in the way of the tasks they’re trying to accomplish.
When to use it: minimalism is a great way to design a web application which focuses on user generated content — if done right, users will rarely complain about it.
However, keep in mind that many clients will find this approach too simplistic for their taste, so you might want to check their preferences before starting your project.
Minimalistic design approach focuses on reducing visual clutter and presenting only the essential elements, which is great for producing clarity and focus. One of the most simple ways to go about this is to limit your color palette, which also creates a cohesive and harmonious visual experience. And when using color, use it strategically to highlight important elements or create visual cues to help user navigate and understand the content more easily.
Key characteristics that mark this style of dashboard design are grid-based layouts, good use of whitespace, and more reliance on typography and simple, minimalistic graphics. In a dashboard, this design style works superbly well because it puts emphasis on the content and sees that the story is communicated in a clear and concise manner.
Icons are a designer's preferred element when it comes to showing navigation.
A small graphic can convey a lot more than an entire line of text. However, the trend is shifting more towards labeled icons for navigation, a small icon followed by a one or two word description. This ensures that new users are not left guessing the meaning of those icons or symbols.
Iconography labeling is a fundamental aspect of user interface design, focusing on the judicious use of icons and their accompanying textual labels to enhance user experience.
Effective iconography labeling in design not only makes the interface aesthetically pleasing but also ensures accessibility and inclusivity.
A careful selection and coordination of colors creates a harmonious and visually pleasing user experience.
Color is often used in design to communicate with users, helping them achieve their goals and understand navigational options.
Properly executed interface color schemes not only enhance the visual appeal of a digital product but also play a pivotal role in facilitating navigation, conveying information, and ensuring a user-friendly and inclusive experience.
Context sensitive navigation came with the rise of dynamic user interfaces and is a great way to declutter your design. Basically, you need to ask yourself a simple question: which navigation elements should be on screen all the time and what can be shown only in certain situations or during particular actions?
For example, Pinterest shows action buttons only when you hover on a pin. Carefully target buttons and gadgets that can be hidden until the user performs a certain action, such as hovering on a link, turning a dropdown arrow, selecting a tab, etc.
The best interface designs have a clear purpose and are specifically engineered for a specific audience. What level of information are you attempting to convey?
Will the dashboard provide background data or actually be formulating conclusions? In addition to knowing what you’re trying to say, it’s important to know who you’re saying it to. Does your audience know this subject matter extremely well or will it be new to them?
What kind of cues will they need to easily digest the information without having to struggle? Do you need a mobile dashboard design? Thinking about these questions before you head into the design phase can help you create a successful dashboard.
And does your audience understand basic interaction tools, or will they need a certain level of training in order to make the best use of the tool that has been built for them?
Before you envision fancy graphics and color schemes, remember that no matter how much you love a layout approach, the content of your dashboard needs to compel the kind of interface that is created and not the other way around.
This means that the first thing you must do when looking at an outline or dataset is to intimately understand the content and the underlying needs for this content. Data visualization is powerful because it brings plain data to life.
This is especially true of the relationships among the points in your dataset. If you’re using dates, is there a pattern in the frequency? For a list of items, is everything in the list independent and equal? Or are there sub groups that have their own relationships.
No matter your data type, always look for outliers. Real life is messy — and so is raw data. Not everything will fit neatly into a simple bar chart or perfect bell curve, but considering the data types and what types of functionality that may accentuate this data will ultimately dictate the UI itself.
Design system essentials: streamlining creativity and consistency
A Fuselab design system includes a collection of reusable components, patterns, and guidelines that ensure consistency and efficiency in the design and development process of digital products. Development teams love working with us because of the level of detail in our design systems, and the amount of documentation we include.
An informational data dashboard gives you control.
Whether it’s a personal finance dashboard that makes you conscious of your spending trends or an enterprise marketing dashboard that helps you keep track of your marketing budgets, both heighten your awareness of a situation, giving you the sense of control, which, let’s face it, is something we all crave.
We love to be in control. Imagine a situation where you are unaware of what’s happening around you. Very soon your panic button is switched on and you want to know what’s going on and what you can and can’t control. From an evolutionary standpoint, if we are in control of our environment we have a better chance of survival. Our subconscious mind prepares us for all kinds of danger (fight or flight) based on our perceived level of control, and regardless of our awareness of this fact, we experience these emotions on a fairly consistent basis.
In our experience, we have found that there is no other industry more aptly positioned to take advantage of the digital dashboard than the medical community. As this is an industry where the amount of data available can be suffocating, and yet being able to make use of this data can be the difference between life and death, literally!
Enhancing Hospital Dashboards
Dashboard systems in hospitals need a user interface (UI) that can centrally manage and retrieve various information related to patients in a single screen, support the decision-making of medical professionals in real- time by integrating scattered medical information systems and core workflows, enhance the competence and decision-making ability of medical professionals, and reduce the probability of misdiagnosis. See our work examples below.
Our work featured here is just a small sampling of the interface and digital dashboard work we have developed for our clients over the past year.
Data Monitor Healthcare
To monitor disease prevalence across the world and according specific demographics and timeframes.
Citeline, an Informa company, asked Fuselab to help create a human-centered UX for a critical application in the pharmaceutical industry. The Datamonitor system needed to create a path for researchers to determine where there is the largest need for their products, and the ability to track the success of existing treatments for specific diseases across the world.
Fuselab created an interactive web application that allowed users, within very few clicks to see relevant data across the world and then to compare that data by going back in history and into the future using a custom AI predictive analytics system. The simple map-based system provided an intuitive interface that needed almost no explanation or training.
The final platform debut took place at an annual meeting where pharmaceutical staff from across the spectrum of companies got to try out the new system and provide feedback. Since that time use of the new tool as increased 100% over the old platform and Informa has received a considerable increase in visitor’s their health monitor webpage.
After developing over 400 unique page views, countless data visualizations, a GIS-based map, hospital management and patient scheduler, and a highly sophisticated medical records system, what you are left with is one incredibly powerful EHR system called ReferraMD, designed by Fuselab.
ReferralMD was in need of rethinking the design of it’s software UX/UI as well as its public website. This would require hundreds of interface designs for the software system alone.
Fuselab Creative developed an entirely new corporate brand identity and detailed style guide that was used to create a simple, yet extremely efficient user flow for doctors and medical professionals to better manage their patient referrals, all from one dashboard of information.
ReferralMD is now one of the fastest growing physician relationship management systems in the country and has been formally endorsed by Cedar Sinai Medical Group.
Part supply chain management system, automated inventory and ordering system, this grocery store management tool allows users to immediately see product levels, trends, and whole store inventories in seconds.
Mixed Reality /
Although the adoption has been somewhat slow, augmented reality is going to make big changes to the way we drive and navigate.
If you drive a lot or actually drive for a living, you are probably using your phone to navigate while also checking the weather and possibly chatting with friends. In other words, there are too many distractions taking your eyes off the road.
Our design for Mixed Reality virtual technology creates a “heads up” environment, coupled with voice navigation that changes the driving and navigation experience while also offering a much safer and enjoyable experience for drivers everywhere.
The platform is still in the beta testing phase for car manufacturers considering adding these options to their vehicles, however, the feedback received thus far has been extremely positive. We hope to see Mixed Reality dashboards on the road soon!
X4D as a software application is a very feature-rich and complicated system.
X4D had four very specific problems:
- It’s a very complex system with many multi-layered views.
- The system is not visually uniform.
- Need a web interface/platform in addition to the software.
- Need to bypass web limitations when dealing with nested levels of data.
The dashboard-based software we designed provides several unique, user-friendly views, including a general project overview, a comprehensive scheduler for tracking the status of individual milestones and regulatory permit approvals, as well as any critical deviations from the initial plan along with supervisor approvals.
The very first block provides high-level information about the general project properties such as: project dates, planned project time and the number of planned tasks that have to be carried out. The dashboards have been divided into three blocks.
As the user goes deeper into the platform, they are able to get more granular in the data the can engage with.
Redesign the user interface for supply chain software company, currently managing the entire fleet of Shell oil trucks across the state of Texas.
The heart of the problem with the exisiting Automatize system was that it was actually the commingling of ten different systems, and very few of them were able to communicate with each, or provide and kind of reliable analytics.
Fuselab created an “all-in-one” dashboard that allows fleet managers and front line staff real-time access to trip details and predictive data, while also implementing a live map for visually tracking of all trucks within the system and over 100 datapoints for each, including live video.
Automatize now has one of the most modern and effective telematics systems in the world. They are now not only servicing one the largest energy companies in the world, they are on the verge of signing several other similar organizations working in the Gulf of Mexico.
Monitor solar panel performance in real-time.
SunSniffer understood that many solar power providers suffered from a lot of the same management, efficiency, and production issues across the world. They needed a centralized monitoring and power distribution system that could manage large panel arrays from one central dashboard.
The primary goal for the dashboard we created UX/UI design for was to design something that would be able to communicate issues across an entire solar power grid within seconds. Next, it needed to allow for customization by the engineer so that they would be able to change panels orientation to maximize power outputs and collection efficiency.
Solar panel power production management requires constant oversight and manipulation. With our dashboard functionality, we created a system for staff that allows them to maximize the output of solar power and to closely monitor the efficiency and safety of individual panels through critical data collection and the ability to filter that data.
In conclusion, intelligent interface and digital dashboard design is now recognized as one for the most critical aspects of the entire software and web app landscape.
Possibly more than any other form of design, dashboard interface design relies on human-centered design expertise to be successful. Overall, the impact of digital dashboard design in the future will revolve around improved data visualization, real-time analytics, personalization, integration, mobility, collaboration, and user-centricity. These advancements will empower individuals and organizations to harness the power of data more effectively, leading to better decision-making, increased productivity, and enhanced insights.