Every dashboard designer needs a checklist to run thru before delivering it at the end of the project.
Checklists are great; they standardize processes and assure the quality of end products. Now, let's check our team's checklist;
Do you have the correct aggregation and currency symbols? Are the aggregations clear? Are your measures clearly labelled?
Are they correct in measuring and aggregation? Are they clearly visible? Are they properly labeled? Are they too many or not enough labels? Do they need to be fixed?
- Dual syncronized axes
Use a dual-axis chart to ensure that the data is displayed at the right scale.
- Numbers are logical
Make sure the numbers make sense. Add up to 100%, depending on the data.
Action filters: Did you correctly set up your action filters? Are they connecting to the correct worksheets?
Quick filters in the dashboard: Does the user know which filters are applicable to which charts? Are the charts and filters visible to them?
Data source filters: Do you really need them? If so, make sure they are properly set up.
Are they really helpful to the user? Check with fresh set of eyes and add more if needed.
Make sure your fonts are big enough, but not too big! Your fonts should be legible, clear and have sufficient contrast. Consider the purpose of the dashboard and the screen on which it will be viewed.
Are your colors too bright? Is it easy to see what each color represents? Are there any colour legends? Does each colour represent a different thing on the dashboard/chart?
Is it simple to see what size means? Does the chart have a legend about size? Is it easy for people to see differences between smaller and larger marks? Are small marks easy to see? Does the size indicate correct dimension or measure? Do larger marks overlap smaller marks?
Is the chart too full of different shapes? Does it make sense to have so many? Are there any legends for the shapes? Is it simple to identify different shapes
- Double encoding
You should not display the same metric twice in the same chart. For example, you might show the size and intensity of the circle on a scatter plot.
- Titles & subtitles
Make sure your subtitles and titles are clear. This will make it easier to read the charts. To reflect filter selections, make your subtitles and titles dynamic.
- Instructions for how to use dashboard
Navigation or additional functionality on a dashboard can sometimes be confusing for users. Make sure you include any additional instructions or directions at the top of your dashboard. It is a good idea to include information buttons and instructions in the tooltip. You can also add an overlay instructions layer, as Marc Reid explains.
- Data source reference
Include the source of your data as well as the URL to the website from which it was obtained (if applicable) at bottom of the dashboard.
You should double-check your license for using icons or images from third parties in your dashboard. Also, make sure to include references back to the original source. If you are not granted permission, do not add images of trademarks, logos, or other persons to your dashboard.
- Spelling mistakes
This is last but not least. Take a break and look at the dashboard with new eyes.
This list should help you keep your dashboards free from errors. Do you have any other points you'd want to make? Please let me know, and I'll keep the post updated.
- Accessibility check
All of the most important information on a dashboard should be displayed on one screen. Are there any ways to operate without a mouse? You should also check for color blindness, contrast, and text size.