In business, digital dashboards are used to make informed and faster decisions. In this context, the quality and effectiveness of a dashboard can have a significant impact on a workers’ productivity, quality of decisions, and hence the businesses she is working in. Anything that negatively affects the speed in which information can be processed, affects a worker’s productivity, and hence the financial health of an organization.

Poorly designed dashboards can cost companies large amounts of money. As designers we need to understand how we can support the limitations of human visual perception when we condense large amounts of data into a small area, displayed on a dashboard. The meaning of these large amounts of quantitative and qualitative data should not get lost in translation. There is no technology that can do this, it takes a designer (and sometimes also subject matter experts) to define how the information should be displayed so it can be interpreted correctly by its intended readers.

Successful dashboard design is based on an understanding of visual perception and human cognition.