Dashboard designers will remember some of our posts regarding the correct use of color in business charts in general and digital dashboards in particular. We presented some material of a “prescriptive” nature. That is, we listed do’s and don’ts regarding the use of color. For example, in the Dashboards by Example Volume 1 post titled “9 Rules for Using Color in BI Dashboards“, we referred you to Stephen Few’s article “Practical Rules for using Color in Charts“. And in the Dashboard Spy post on using Preattentive Variables in Dashboard Design, we looked at this little exercise:
Now, instead of “prescriptive” advice, we try the “descriptive” approach. Llet’s examine the thoughts of an experienced dashboard designer regarding his use of color during the course of designing a real estate dashboard. For this we turn to long-time Dashboard Spy contributor Robert Allison and his entry to a dashboard design contest.
Robert designed a real estate dashboard. Following the scenario of the contest in which he assumed the role of an analyst for a group of real estate agents, Robert strived to “… create a visualization that will allow them to view several characteristics of house sales in a given month to help them better track and understand what’s happening in the housing market.”
Here was Robert’s real estate dashboard. Click on the image to enlarge it. Below the screenshot of the dashboard, you’ll find Robert’s explanation of how he chose to use color to emphasize certain things in his design.
Click on the “more” link for the dashboard designer’s thoughts.