How to Make Dashboards Using a Product Thinking Approach

A step-by-step guide to how you can create dashboards that are user-centered and impact-driven.

If you're a long-time reader I realize this may be a soapbox that you're bored of. But I still see so many bad dashboards! This isn't the fault of a single actor in the ecosystem—the data analyst, dashboard vendors, the dashboard consumer, the structure of data teams and their relationship to the business—it's all of them working in concert. Each of those four factors pushes dashboards towards being "chart dumps."

Imagine you needed to write up a summary report on something in text, and your strategy was: open a blank document and just keep typing until you couldn't think of anything else to say. No editing, no structure, just a pure brain dump. Then hit "publish." That's what we still do with dashboards.

Whenever I've tried to work with practitioners to improve the UX of their dashboards I'm met with downright consternation that the totality of the experience (rather than just the individual charts themselves) should even be a matter for consideration.

Anyway. Sorry. I'll get down now. But still, this is a great post if you want to make better dashboard experiences :)


Want to receive more content like this in your inbox?