How to design great dashboards?

design process

I'm excited to share my exclusive method for avoiding the pitfall of creating dashboards that won't be used.

The Repetition Bias

"Repeated information feels more true than new or unrepeated information. Thanks to Repetition Bias, the more times a message is repeated, and the greater the number of sources repeating the message, the more believable it becomes."


Presenting the same charts repeatedly creates comfort, which seems harmless initially. However, over time, it standardizes business intelligence and asseptize decision making.

Proposing 4x the same chart for 4 different teams is more a matter of random chance than logic.

Let's take 4 different teams. They all have different:

  • histories
  • experience of data
  • interest for Data visualization
  • approaches and methods

All these factors need to be taken into account when choosing the chart you propose.

Even under pressure, this bias can result in overly generic data visualization. This poses a risk of users not engaging with the intended dashboard or making incorrect decisions. In the visual above, the ultimate objective is to grasp users' goals clearly, defining boundaries and visually representing efforts.

 Should the dashboard be an exploration to better understand and find the questions we're not yet asking ourselves? Or help us answer the questions we already know?

How well do users understand and use data?

Depending on these answers, we will not propose the same graphs for an equivalent scope.

Where do users stand in the hierarchy? Do they need to make strategic decisions? What impact will these decisions have?

This summary shows just how different the visuals are between the Finance and Marketing teams. These diagrams have been filled in and shared by everyone. We may not yet know exactly what to come up with, but we know for sure which way we don't want to go.

Now it's a question of clarifying the expectations with the data, brainstorming (measurements, KPI, dimensions, personas...) and gradually reaching the sketch stage, which will then be (almost) child's play.

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Whenever you're ready. There is one way I can help you design great dashboards:

Access The Dashboard Assessment training course and template to improve your dashboard design skills.