Redesign of the Federal IT Dashboard

August 2, 2010  |  Design, Statistical Visualization

About a year after the launch of the Federal IT Dashboard, business intelligence consultancy Juice Analytics focuses on five areas — message, flow, charts, context, and design fundamentals — where the dashboard could use some improvement.

The first tip on message:

The information designer is responsible for presenting the data in a way that the message is delivered in a clear and understandable way. If the data is left to speak for itself, users can be left confused or frustrated. And in all likelihood they won't to [sp] see the full value of the data. That's particularly tough for this Federal IT Dashboard where a huge amount of effort has been put into gathering consistent data across agencies.

Totally agree with this, but to avoid confusion, let's clarify. You should always let the data speak for itself. It's just that what the data says often seems like a foreign language to non-professionals. It's up to you, the information designer, to translate. The better you can translate, the better the information designer you are.

See the rest of the redesign on Juice Analytics (who is hiring, by the way).

2 Comments

  • “You should always let the data speak for itself. It’s just that what the data says often seems like a foreign language to non-professionals”

    Another way to put it is that the visualization vocab is a very rich one, and as much as spoken languages, you have to adapt your delivery depending on your audience – friends, executives, client, partners…

    we know the different styles of charts can convey similar information, just using a different representation – analyzing the user base of an application, their expertise/acquaintance with visualization and expectation will be a way to create self sustaining visuals

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