(Part 2) Creating business dashboard: Elements and Design process

Product Design

Artikel ini juga tersedia dalam terjemahan Bahasa indonesia dengan judul Merancang dashboard bisnis: Elemen dan proses mendesain.

Continuing from previous article: Basic Concept of business dashboard, now we will learn about:

  • Dashboard elements and
  • Design process

Dashboard elements

In order to provide users with actionable result, there are 4 elements we can combine in business dashboard :

  • Key Performance Indicator (KPI),
  • Table,
  • Chart, and
  • Map / Region.

Each of elements has different purpose and we utilize it depends on what kind of message we want to deliver.

For further reference, these articles: Data visualization 101 and A Tour through the Visualization Zoo provide information about how to visualize data to deliver right message.

Design Process

After getting grasp about dashboard elements, we can follow these 3 steps as guidance for designing a business dashboard:

1. Identify user requirements


The goal of this step is to understand user issues and requirements. In order to get that, we establish communication with dashboard users as early as possible to solve ambiguity of expectation.

We involve the user since beginning so that they won’t be surprised, confused, and even frustrated while using the final result of business dashboard.

We discuss with users to elicit information about:

  • what information do they need to be available in the dashboard?
  • what are their challenges before having a business dashboard?
  • what are their goals after having a dashboard business?
  • what are their existing KPIs in organization?

2. Formulate hypothesis


After getting user issues and requirements, next thing to do is we start listing all possible solutions and treat those as hypothesis.

Drawing a mind map is one of techniques that can be handy in this process. It help us brainstorm ideas, explore concepts, and organize our thought processes.

While listing all possible solutions, we also do activities including:

  • arranging information structure,
  • grouping similar KPIs, and
  • selecting relevant KPIs in the dashboard.

3. Designing dashboard wireframe


Our hypothesis then feeds into the wireframe design which we use for validating user requirements.

We can sketch a wireframe with tools as simple as pencil, pen, and paper. When sketching, aesthetics are low priority. We focus more on clarity for dashboard symbols and layout structure.


At this point, we have learned about elements and design process of business dashboard.

In order to reach the final dashboard wireframe, we can implement above 3 steps in several iterations depending on user requirements.

Next week, we will practise to design a dashboard in article Creating business dashboard: Implementation

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