Information Visualization: Getting Dashboards Right

100% booked

How this course will help your career

What you will learn

  • An introduction to dashboard design
  • Key considerations when you design for dashboards, such as using the pre-attentive attributes of color, form, orientation, and spatial location
  • How principles of visual perception—encompassing how, what, and why we see what we do—can be applied to your dashboard designs
  • Key concepts related to dashboard design, such as the “data-ink ratio,” summaries and exceptions, the benefits of customization, and how to promote insight
  • Some of the psychological aspects of dashboard use, including attention, short-term memory, and problem solving
  • Examples of good and bad design to help you avoid common mistakes
  • The importance of viewing experience over aesthetics

Dashboards are everywhere—in enterprise software, Google Analytics and Facebook Ads Manager, and even popular blogs such as WordPress and Medium. With the big data and business analytics industry set to grow from $130bn in 2016 to more than $203bn in 20201, dashboards are going to become increasingly important. But how do you pack increasingly huge amounts of data into increasingly streamlined, tiny dashboards?

“Information Visualization: Getting Dashboards Right” will lead you through some of the key considerations when designing dashboard displays. Some design choices may seem arbitrary, such as the color of the background display or the size of the company logo, but almost every decision can potentially make, or ruin, the viewing experience. Through this course, we help you identify many of the design pitfalls your competitors have already fallen into. We will equip you with a deeper understanding of your users, so you know how to reduce their burden of responsibility as well as promote insight—the main reason for using dashboards as the chosen display method.

By the end of the course, you will have a clear understanding of how to design the right dashboards for your intended users, saving yourself the effort of endless edits. You will also be able to avoid the common faults blighting your competitors' designs by being equipped with the necessary information to design products that provide your users with the best possible viewing experience and, in turn, generate an increase in sales.

Gain an industry-trusted UX Course Certificate

You earn a verifiable and industry-trusted Course Certificate once you complete the course. You can highlight them on your resume, CV, LinkedIn profile or your website.

Course Certificate

Our courses and Course Certificates are trusted by these industry leaders, who have taken up company memberships with the IDF:

Centure, Adobe, GE, IBM, Philips and SAP

Who should take this course

This is an intermediate-level course suitable for students and professionals alike:

  • UX designers interested in learning the key considerations, design pitfalls, and how to promote insight when designing dashboards
  • Project managers looking to create dashboard displays that are relevant and effective to users
  • Software engineers interested in the best practices for designing dashboards
  • Entrepreneurs who want to create dashboard displays that are relevant and that will increase sales
  • Students and newcomers to design who are considering making a switch to UX, UI, or web design

Courses in the Interaction Design Foundation are designed to contain comprehensive, evidence-based content, while ensuring that the learning curve is never too steep. All participants will have the opportunity to share ideas, seek help with tests, and enjoy the social aspects afforded by our open and friendly forum.

Learn and work with a global team of designers

When you take part in this course, you will join a global multidisciplinary team working on the course and the exercises at the same time as you. You will work together to improve your skills and understanding. Your course group will be made up of an incredibly diverse group of professionals, all of whom have the same objective—to become successful designers. It’s your chance to learn, grow, and network with your peers across the planet.

1 Double-Digit Growth Forecast for the Worldwide Big Data and Business Analytics Market Through 2020 Led by Banking and Manufacturing Investments, International Data Corporation

Lessons in this course

  • Lessons become available at a schedule of one lesson per week.
  • Lessons remain open for you forever and have no deadlines.
  • There is no time limit to finish a course.
  • You have permanent access to your course material, answers, and classmates for the entire duration of your membership.
  • Estimated time to complete: 9 hours 4 mins spread over 8 weeks.

Lesson 0: Introductions and welcome

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 49 mins.

  • 0.1: Welcome (4 mins)
  • 0.2: An introduction to IDF courses (14 mins)
  • 0.3: Let our community help you (1 min)
  • 0.4: How to earn your Course Certificate (4 mins)
  • 0.5: Meet your peers online in our discussion forums (6 mins)
  • 0.6: Meet and learn from design professionals in your area (1 min)
  • 0.7: Gain Timeless Knowledge Through IDF Courses (11 mins)
  • 0.8: Mandatory lessons vs. Optional lessons (2 mins)
  • 0.9: A mix between video-based and text-based lesson content (2 mins)
  • 0.10: Raw Data and Design (6 mins)

Lesson 1: Information Visualization: An Introduction to Dashboard Design

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 28 mins.

  • 1.1: An Introduction: Information Visualization (8 mins)
  • 1.2: Business Intelligence Dashboards: Information Visualization (13 mins)
  • 1.3: Dashboards: Information Visualization (7 mins)
  • 1.4: Dashboard Design: Information Visualization (8 mins)
  • 1.5: Consistency and Standards in Dashboard Design: Information Visualization (8 mins)
  • 1.6: Dashboards: Following the Information Scent (8 mins)
  • 1.7: Fragmentation: Information Visualization (7 mins)
  • 1.8: Dashboard Design and Scrolling: Information Visualization (5 mins)
  • 1.9: Good Dashboard Design: Information Visualization (9 mins)
  • 1.10: Dashboard Design 'No-nos': Information Visualization (9 mins)
  • 1.11: Dashboard Design in Practice (5 mins)

Lesson 2: Dashboard Design: Key Considerations

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 27 mins.

  • 2.1: Promoting Insight: Information Visualization (8 mins)
  • 2.2: Limitations of Short-term Memory: Information Visualization (15 mins)
  • 2.3: Dashboard Design and Short-Term Memory: Information Visualization (8 mins)
  • 2.4: 'Data-Ink Ratio': Information Visualization (13 mins)
  • 2.5: Exceptions: Information Visualization (8 mins)
  • 2.6: Using Images: Information Visualization (9 mins)
  • 2.7: Dashboard Design and Aesthetic Appeal: Information Visualization (8 mins)
  • 2.8: Information Visualization (7 mins)
  • 2.9: Three Important Questions: Information Visualization (8 mins)
  • 2.10: Dashboard Design: Information Visualization (3 mins)

Lesson 3: Dashboard Design: Visual Perception and the Gestalt Principles

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 4 mins.

  • 3.1: Dashboard Design and Visual Perception: Information Visualization (9 mins)
  • 3.2: Dashboard Design and the Gestalt Principles: Information Visualization (8 mins)
  • 3.3: Using Colour in Dashboard Design: Information Visualization (10 mins)
  • 3.4: Using Colour: Information Visualization (7 mins)
  • 3.5: Dashboard Design and Visual Highlighting: Information Visualization (7 mins)
  • 3.6: Dashboard Design: Information Visualization (9 mins)
  • 3.7: Information Visualization (7 mins)
  • 3.8: Visual aspects of the Design (5 mins)

Lesson 4: Dashboard Design Considerations: Practical Application

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 36 mins.

  • 4.1: Applying Design Considerations: Dashboard Design (6 mins)
  • 4.2: The Problem With Pie Charts: Dashboard Design (6 mins)
  • 4.3: Consistency and Standards: Dashboard Design (6 mins)
  • 4.4: Conform to the Norm: Dashboard Design (7 mins)
  • 4.5: Using Colour and the General Viewing Experience: Dashboard Design (7 mins)
  • 4.6: Discussion Forum (5 mins)

Lesson 5: Common Display Methods

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 55 mins.

  • 5.1: Bar Graphs: Dashboard Design (8 mins)
  • 5.2: Line Chart: Dashboard Design (8 mins)
  • 5.3: Scatter Plot: Dashboard Design (9 mins)
  • 5.4: Tables: Dashboard Design (8 mins)
  • 5.5: Box Plots: Dashboard Design (8 mins)
  • 5.6: Pie Charts: Dashboard Design (8 mins)
  • 5.7: Display Method-Your Experience (5 mins)

Lesson 6: Further Dashboard Display Methods

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 59 mins.

  • 6.1: Stacked Bar Graphs: Dashboard Design (17 mins)
  • 6.2: Spatial Maps: Dashboard Design (14 mins)
  • 6.3: Information Dials: Dashboard Design (10 mins)
  • 6.4: Icons: Dashboard Design (13 mins)
  • 6.5: Discussion Forum (5 mins)

Lesson 7: Dashboard Design: Think of the Users!

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 59 mins.

  • 7.1: Organisation is Key: Usability Considerations (8 mins)
  • 7.2: Permit and Support Meaningful Comparisons: Usability Considerations (8 mins)
  • 7.3: Prevent Inappropriate Comparisons: Usability Considerations (7 mins)
  • 7.4: Aesthetics are Important: Usability Considerations (8 mins)
  • 7.5: Choose Colours Wisely: Usability Considerations (6 mins)
  • 7.6: Allow Quick Access: Usability Considerations (13 mins)
  • 7.7: Usability Testing: Usability Considerations (3 mins)
  • 7.8: Using Skeuomporphism: Yay or Nay?: Dashboard Design (1 min)
  • 7.9: Discussion Forum (5 mins)

Lesson 8: Dashboard Design: Applying and Summarising

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 47 mins.

  • 8.1: The Important Design Questions: Information Dashboard Design (21 mins)
  • 8.2: Application: Dashboard Design (5 mins)
  • 8.3: Daily Sales Dashboard: Dashboard Design (8 mins)
  • 8.4: Accidents Vs. Workers' Pay Dashboard: Dashboard Design (8 mins)
  • 8.5: Discussion Forum (5 mins)

Lesson 9: Course Certificate, Final Networking, and Course Wrap-up

To be scheduled.

  • 9.1: Course Evaluation (1 min)

Learning paths

This course is part of 1 learning paths:

  • Visual Designer
    Visual Designer
  • How others have benefited

    Prashant Katrabad

    Prashant Katrabad, India

    “The course has taken my understanding of dashboard to the next level. I hope to design better dashboards in future.”

    Eric Azares

    Eric Azares, United States

    “This gave me a lot of principles I can immediately apply to dashboard design. Now that I know the principles, I have a more critical eye for dashboards I see on a daily basis. I can view all my dashboards not just as a consumer but as a designer. Time to go organize information!”

    Sharon Kruskopf Sens

    Sharon Kruskopf Sens, United States

    “This course has certainly underscored the challenge of designing an effective dashboard. I find that I analyze every dashboard I now see!”

    How to advance your career with IDF courses

    1. Attend lessons at your own pace

      Each week throughout the course, you get access to a new lesson, but you can move through the lessons at your own pace. This means you can learn before you leave for work, or in between breaks — in as little as 15 minutes per day.

    2. Network online and offline

      Network with your fellow course-takers online, through discussion forums inside lessons. You can also connect with your peers offline via IDF’s Local Groups. Local Groups connect you with other designers around your city who share the same passion in UX design as you.

    3. Advance your career

      Get a verifiable and industry-trusted Course Certificate once you’ve scored at least 70% on a course. Highlight your Course Certificates on your résumé, your LinkedIn profile, or your website to showcase your newly mastered skills.

    Start advancing your career now

    Become a member to take “Information Visualization: Getting Dashboards Right”. Take any other IDF UX courses at no additional cost. Take a concrete step forward in your career path today.

    Frequently asked questions

    I missed the enrollment date and now the course is closed. Will I have any opportunity to take the course in the future?

    Don't worry if you missed the course. We will re-run it shortly. One of the reasons we continually open and close courses is to be able to control the classroom size.

    Networking is a large part of our value proposition, so we want just the right number of people inside the courses. That is also why we display the "XX % percent booked" on our course icons.

    We’ll re-schedule the course and make it available for sign-up on in only about a week (or perhaps a little bit longer). The actual start date of the course will be a few weeks after sign-ups begin too. We’ve found that this is the best way to maximize flexibility and convenience for everyone, especially you as you put your course program together.

    Can I take more than one course at a time?
    Yes, you can take all the courses you would like. For example, if there are 30 active courses, you can enroll in all 30 courses at the same time and move from one to the other as you please.

    There are no further charges once you’ve paid for your membership.

    Please note: If you have a student membership, you can take a maximum of two courses at the same time. As a student, you can thus still take all the courses you would like – free of extra charges – just as long as you finish them (or drop them) so that you don’t have more than three ongoing courses at the same time.
    Do I have to be online at an exact time to study?

    No. You can set your own study schedule. There are no "live sessions" or "webinars" since our members are from all timezones around the world. We are a truly global community – with members in every single corner of the world.

    Thus, once you are enrolled, you can take all the time you want to complete a given course. Every "classroom" in each course will never close, so you’ll have permanent access to your classmates and your course material (as well as your own answers).

    Will I receive a Course Certificate?

    Yes. Every time you complete a course, you get an industry-recognized Course Certificate. There is no limit to how many Course Certificates you can earn during your membership. You will also receive a 3-step guide on how to include your Course Certificate on LinkedIn and in your résumé/CV.

    You can see an example of a Course Certificate at the bottom of the Course Catalogue.

    I have answered questions in a lesson; when will they be marked/graded?
    We do the marking/grading in so-called "sprints," where we sit down and do all the marking/grading in one go. Your answers will be graded approximately two weeks after you submit your work. 
    We do this because it is much more efficient than doing one little step every day. It's part of our lean/agile work philosophy, and that approach to efficiency is one of the factors that keeps our membership prices so incredibly low.
    We are doing it to save you money and as part of our mission to lower the cost of high-quality design education.
    I have updated my name, but my course certificate is not updated — how can I change it?
    Once you update your name, the certificate will be updated automatically in the next 48 hours. 
    I have started the course/lesson later than the specified date, are my answers still going to be marked?

    We will be marking answers for as long as there are active members. Therefore, even if you are the only person taking a lesson at that particular time, your answers will still be marked.

    How are courses graded?

    Open-ended questions are graded by our experts and course instructors - not by machines.

    That's one of the reasons why our Course Certificates are credible and recognized by industry leaders.

    I started a course after the official start date; for how long will I have access to the course materials?

    Regardless of when you have enrolled on a course, you will have access to the course materials for the entire duration of your membership. So, if you pay for a one-year membership, you will have access for one year, renewing your membership for a second year means you will have access for two years, and so on.

    New lessons are starting before I have had the chance to complete all aspects of the previous lesson(s); am I going to be locked out of these unfinished lessons?

    No, you will not be locked out of any lesson or course. You will have access to all course materials throughout your membership, so there is no pressure to keep at the same pace as the specified lesson release dates.

    All we recommend is that you try to stick to the same schedule as other participants. The reason is they may have moved on to other lessons, thereby meaning you could miss out on the social aspects of the course(s). However, we anticipate that there will be a constant flow of participants working through different lessons and courses, so overall you are unlikely to miss out. We will also be running all courses again — so there really is no rush.

    Are course certificates awarded on a specific date?

    No; you can generate your certificate as soon as you attain at least 70% of the total course points.

    When will I receive my Course Certificate?

    Course certificates will be given to participants when they have scored more than 70% or more of the total course points. For example, if a course contains ten lessons each with ten questions, you will receive a course certificate when the instructor has awarded you at least 70 points (70% of the total course points).

    There is no specified time that certificates will be awarded — instead, they are given to participants as and when they have answered all questions, even if this is long after the official end date.

    How do I add my Course Certificate to my LinkedIn profile?

    Below is a step-by-step guide on how to add your IDF course(s) to your LinkedIn profile:

    1. Log in to your LinkedIn account, then go to your profile.
    2. On the right, in the Add profile section dropdown, choose Background and then select the + next to Licenses & Certifications.

    3. In the following fields add:
      • Name – Course name
      • Issuing organization – The Interaction Design Foundation
      • Check the field “This credential does not expire”
      • Issue date - Input the date written on your certificate (e.g., May 2019)
      • Credential ID – Your membership ID number (it's written on your certificate)
      • Credential URL: Input the certificate URL provided on your course page

    4. Click on the save button.

    Congratulate yourself!
    You’ve made a great accomplishment by earning your course certificate, and now the world knows about it!

    How do I add the IDF Membership Certificate to my LinkedIn Profile?

    Below is a step-by-step guide on how to add your IDF membership certificate to your LinkedIn profile:

    1. Log in to your LinkedIn account, then go to your profile.
    2. On the right, in the Add profile section dropdown, choose Background and then select the + next to Licenses & Certifications.

    3. In the following fields add:
      • Name – Membership Certificate
      • Issuing organization – The Interaction Design Foundation
      • Check the field “This credential does not expire”
      • Issue date - Input the date when you joined our community (e.g., May 2019)
      • Credential ID – Your membership ID number (it's written on your certificate)
      • Credential URL: Input the certificate URL provided on your profile page
    4. Click on the save button.

    It is as simple as that. Now, anyone who visits your profile can see your certificate!

    How much will I have to pay for the courses?

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    Do you provide mostly beginners' or more advanced courses?

    We provide courses for all levels of mastery and accross the full spectrum. If you’re new to design, you can start from our beginner courses and progress all the way up to our advanced ones. If you’re an established designer, on the other hand, you will find some of our lower-level courses provide a good refresher—and the advanced ones, a bit of a challenge.

    How long does it take to complete a course?

    Once enrolled in a course, you will gain access to a new lesson each week, which you are free to complete without any deadlines and no end date, either.