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Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #31 
I've been out of the loop on this thread, but was pleased to see you've made several incremental improvements on your original design.

That being said, one thing that jumped out to me (besides being redundant) was in regard to the line graph/table ... there are categorical labels that have been cut off in both the legend and the table itself.  (Some of them significantly)  This can lead to confusion and unnecessary questions as to what each series of data represents.


Clarity is of the utmost importance.  If the user is unsure of what is being represented in the graph, what's the point of the graph to begin with?

Best wishes,


"In the realm of data visualization, we face many challenges that are worth pursuing. Creating an effective radial gauge is not one of them. It is a fool’s errand. Do I strike you as a fool?" - Stephen Few

Posts: 18
Reply with quote  #32 
So after several rounds of feedback, testing and some new tricks I learned from Steve, the dashboard has evolved into this. Basically a complete redesign.  It now fits all in one single page, and what is important (Mainly red items) should jump at you a bit more. They only become red when there is a problem.

I fought to keep the direct labels off, but most people wanted them on even though it doesn't look as clean as it could. I also used as little color as I could without making it seem 'boring' or busy on the eyes. Each color has a meaning too.... for example, red needs attention, blue is something nearing a closing date, and yellow is always current year on the line graph.

Let me know if you guys see any potential improvements I could add. So far I have persuaded the team to not use a gauge or funnel chart, that was a win!


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Posts: 183
Reply with quote  #33 
It looks nice, they are several good ideas. Still a few things can be improved.

1. Number alignment to the right in tables/lists.
2. Unit of measure, $ (or any other), is enough to appear only once in the scales.
3. I would avoid designing value numbers in top of the bars. If the value labels are a must, make a table like design for label, right aligned value and the associated bar.
4. For the charts with target comparison, I assume the gray area of the bars is for the whole year projected value and the target to compare with is for the whole year. I would display in one screen ytd value and ytd target. In case yearly target is provided, calculate the ytd target and display that (if you are able to calculate projected value, then you are also able to calculate the ytd target). You can design in a different screen graphs for whole year projected values versus yearly target.
5. Try one letter months abbreviations and remove the ticks.
6. Any special reasons for the colors of the right charts bars?

Posts: 18
Reply with quote  #34 
Good stuff Danz, I made the changes, thanks.

on #5...Im split on this one. I've tried this before and I get the impression people have to think twice or double check what month they are looking at when they see the letter, vs the 3 letter abbrev. which is instant. I mean, we're talking fractions of a second here, but still. Just my gut feel, not sure. 

on #6. This is me selling out to a color hungry crowd. But, the blue symbolizes items getting really close to their closing dates. I actually have a popup in the top right corner with some explanation behind the colors. At least compared to my earlier versions, all colors mean something here, even if they are too abundant.

Posts: 21
Reply with quote  #35 
Try to remove borders & $


Posts: 191
Reply with quote  #36 
@jrodriguez - I pretty much agree with @danz's points, especially the issues of right-aligning numbers in a table, and moving the data labels outside, to the right of the charts instead of at the end of the bar.

But I have to say, you've done a great job with this. You started the post with something that was obviously an improvement over your company's current state, and have taken it miles beyond what you started with now. Great work incorporating feedback and taking criticism.

If were going to offer any further suggestions, the only other minor thing I see that I would alter is to make the row of numbers at the top right bold, just to give them slightly more focus than they currently have


Posts: 183
Reply with quote  #37 
Well said @jlbriggs:

"...you've done a great job with this. You started the post with something that was obviously an improvement over your company's current state, and have taken it miles beyond what you started with now. Great work incorporating feedback and taking criticism..."

@jrodriguez, I am sure your effort will be properly valued there, keep up the good work.

Posts: 805
Reply with quote  #38 

I haven't had a chance to review your new version thoroughly, but one potential improvement jumped out at me. You are coloring the bars red to highlight them. I avoid this practice because it tends to feature small problems more than large problems. In your case, low values are the problem--correct? The lower the value, the shorter the bars--correct? As a consequence, which values will stand out the most by changing their color to red? The answer: the highest values (i.e., longest bars). A tiny value would represent a huge problem, but coloring it red might not emphasize it at all. Rather than color-coding the data objects (e.g., bars) themselves to highlight items, I cause a unique icon to appear next to them. In many of my dashboards you will see small circle icons, usually colored red, that serve as alerts. The purpose of the icon is simply to say, "Look at this." The purpose of the icon is not to assign different levels of alert to items, although this could be done using different color intensities, but to merely say, "This potentially needs attention."

Stephen Few
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