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Author's profile photo John Harrison

Book Review: Information Dashboard Design by Stephen Few; ISBN 978-0-596-10016-2

If you have ever been asked to whip up a dashboard design because “it is easy” and you have no idea of where to start, then this book is for you. It is an easy to read, informative introduction to the art of dashboard design. Extensively illustrated with examples of what not to do, this book outlines founding principles of designing a dashboard. I found quite a few “aha” moments while reading. This book covers the elements that make up a good dash board design, including a selection on choosing the correct representation for the KPI’s, the use of colors, intensity, saturation, white space, etc. Of special interest
is a chapter called “Thirteen Common Mistakes in Dashboard Design”. With explanations & examples of why these where mistakes in design the principles were easy to understand and appreciate. I found myself looking at the dashboards that I have to use (and various websites) in an entirely new manner, counting the bad and good design principles applied. 

While not a cook book for dashboards, after all you have to do some of the work, this book gives a foundation for those of us who are not formally trained in visual design and representation.

I highly recommend Information Dashboard Design as a starting point; it opened my eyes to some of the founding principles and is good first step in understanding dashboard design.

I have included some links were you can order the book if you are interested. It is only available in English

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