6 Rules For Shaping Your Dashboard

When shaping your dashboard, it is important to pay attention to presentation of informations that you have. Purpose of a dashboard is to show informations that are useful for a user  to make some action.

In this post we will write about some rules and principles that will make your dashboard look better.


When a user is teaching for an info on your dashboard, he needs to find it within 5 seconds. Dashboard has to provide a wanted information as fast as possible. 

If a user needs more than that to find information, you visual elements are not shaped well.

Normally, detailed informations demand longer searching but the main ones should be found in 5 seconds.


Most important informations should be placed in upper left corner, because the human eye interest is mostly in that area. Generally, you should place main user data and link navigation in upper left corner.

Also, the important info should be placed in the middle of your screen. When managing informations you could use reversed pyramid principle.

With that principle you are dividing informations in 3 groups. The most important info should be on the top of the pyramid. Below there are informations and details that are helping to understand the first group informations. General informations with which user is searching should be in the bottom of pyramid.


Dashboards should not have more than 5 to 9 visualisations (elements). By cognitive psychology, human brain can process from 7 to 9 elements at the same time. If you put more than 9 elements you won’t have a good user experience and your dashboard won’t have a purpose.

To avoid too many elements, you can use dividing and also a hierarchical shaping. You can distribute elements on several screens to reduce clutter as well.


Before data visualisations you have to determine which kind of information you are showing as well as their relationship.

Connection – the relationship between two or more variables

Comparison – comparison of two or more variables

Composition – dividing informations in separate components

Distribution – inclusion and grouping values within informations


Dashboard must be aligned by standards. A user has to know which element is for which action on every screen, that is why dashboards must be aligned.

Elements, words and actions must be equal on the whole dashboard. Design must be aligned with platform functionalities.


Good design error prevention is better that getting an error message. You either remove error condition or make and confirmation option for your users before they engage action.