While business dashboards can adopt many distinct designs in terms of look and feel, there are a core number of basic layouts that they tend to follow. I suppose this comes from grid-based design in general and the prevalence of the template approaches in popular presentation layer technologies such as tiles and struts.
When designing custom layouts for dashboard applications built in-house or creating a custom layout in an off-the-shelf dashboarding software product, I tend to follow the 3 or 4 column approach with portlets of various sizes spanning the different columns as needed. Can’t picture what I mean?
Take a look at this dashboard layout picker from a dashboard software package (iDashboards 5.0).
What is your most commonly used layout? Do you mostly arrange portlets containing charts and graphs of various metrics and KPIs? If so, maybe you choose the 3×3 layout for 9 charts. More likely, you mix up wider portlets for text content.
It would be interesting to find out how these various digital dashboard layouts are ranked in terms of usage.
Click on the “read more” link below to see how the iDashboards software product handles the dashboard layout selection process. Screenshots of the dashboards can be found below.
Here is the sequence of actions for creating a new dashboard in iDashboards.
First, take a look at the default sales dashboard that comes with iDashboards:
As you see, it has a 3 column by 2 row configuration for the portlets. It has the following metrics:
- Top 10 Shipping Customers
- Market Share
- Sales by State
- Top 3 Products
- Sales Performance
- Sales by Province
Note the bottom leftmost section where you will find a “Menu” button. If you click it, you get the following panel where you can select a new dashboard and pick out the desired layout per the screenshot we saw earlier:
If you pick the 2 row layout, you will get the following dashboard template:
At this point, you can populate the top portlet of the dashboard with a graph.
Use the SQL Custom Query tool to select your data for the chart.
Here is the resulting chart in the top portlet of the dashboard:
Tags: iDashboards 5.0 Screenshot, idashboards layout configuration, digital dashboards