The Dashboard Five Second Rule™

The Dashboard Five Second Rule

Glance at your BI dashboard for 5 seconds, then look away. If you remember the specifics of what was important, you're good. If not, it's time for a dashboard rethink.

Can you quickly determine if “the margin is doing better than last year” or “we are short of our quota”? If so your dashboard’s user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are performing well. But if you must take time to think about and analyze the data, the dashboard is not properly serving its purpose. In other words, you’re wasting precious time.


That’s where our UI/UX process begins: with the very clear objective of making sure your dashboard serves you by showing the KPIs simply and effectively. The dashboard is the first page, or the landing page, and tells you what is good or bad. The rest of the application allows you to drill down deeper into the why.

There are three basic concepts you must include in your Dashboard. Comparability gives you the performance indicators. Adding Common Sense colors and symbols provides the ability to readily observe what is good or bad in a matter of seconds. But if you have a very complex dashboard with an overwhelming display of information, you can easily become distracted. Simplicity is crucial to quickly identify the performance of a key indicator. Remember to go back to the basics and ask, what would a car dashboard show?

Once you have the basic key items for your dashboard, what else is needed to serve users better? A typical BI application contains multiple views. Infozone designers organize them using the DAR concept: Dashboard-Analysis-Report. Read more about DAR.

“The Infozone User Experience team re-designed the FCR dashboard, so our people could quickly make sense of key metrics at first glance. The thought process Shima and her team bring to UI and UX are highly specialized and unique. Our VP of Sales loves the report. It provides three levels of leadership and a quick snapshot of how the organization is performing.”– Mark Fleming, Senior Director of Field Force Automation at Sanofi.

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