Data Visualization for Great Dashboard Design

1 day virtual workshop
June 8, 2023, 8:00 am-4:00 pm PT

Data visualization requires more than the selection of appropriate chart types. It requires a deep understanding of both data structure and the end user’s information needs. Dashboards that do not facilitate user decision making are simply art, not UX design. In fact, the IxD process must start with the redesign and shaping of the data itself.

While a chart can tell an individual story, a dashboard is a systems level view of the entire business battlefield. Great data visualization incorporates the fundamental principles of both information architecture and interaction design, and applies them to quantitative content to tell a compelling story.

Many HCI practitioners are not sufficiently familiar with the specific aspects of these different disciplines to generate optimal dashboards. The good news is this specialty area of HCI practice is easy to learn and apply.

In this workshop you will learn the key theory and practical methods underpinning UX data visualization. And you will apply this knowledge to analyze and improve a real world FinTech dashboard drawn from a specific case study.

What we’ll cover

  • The perceptual and cognitive principles that make data visualization effective
  • Designing for the transition from perception to understanding
  • The range of data visualization approaches from “directed” to “exploratory”
  • Manipulating data measures and dimensions to prepare the optimal visualizations
  • Review of chart type selection to match the user goals
  • Dashboard layout fundamentals
  • Design patterns for interacting with the live data
  • A DV quality analysis in class exercises with review by the instructor and students to identify where the DV design best practices are not followed and how to improve the case study example
  • Additional resources to learn more about this UX skill area

Target audience
UX practitioners in design and user research at all levels including UX managers.


Morning (3 hours)

    • Introduction and background sharing of participants
    • Overview of the different flavors of data visualization
    • DV fundamentals review for Directed Data Visualization
      • Selecting chart types
      • DV visual design guidelines
      • Interacting with data techniques
  • Break time (10 min)
  • DV fundamentals review for Directed Data Visualization (continued)
  • Review several state-of-the-art examples
  • Summary and Q&A

Lunch break

Afternoon (3.5 hours)

    • Exercise 1 – Analysis of existing dashboard
      • Reflection and review with instructor and class members
    • Break time (5 min)
    • Exercise 2 – Redesign of existing dashboard
      • Reflection and review with instructor and class members
  • Break time (5 min)
  • Fundamentals for Exploratory Data Visualization design (time permitting)
  • Summary and Q&A