Data-ink ratio: good design can be better

Data-ink ratio establishes that every pixel used to represent data must be non-redundant and non-erasable, meaning that if the ink is removed from the image, the graphic will lose the content. 

That Tufte’s principle can be understood very quickly with this example gif image:

Darkhorse Analytics

On this occasion, I’m going to take a risk and forcing me to find examples on Dribbble, a social network for designers where you can find outstanding visual design examples. 

The reason why is because it’s easy to see the fail on old and poor designed interfaces, but it’s harder to find the ‘room of improvement’ in those places which already excel.

Disclaimer: I’m not judging the quality and creativity of these designs (which is obvious and I envy), but just trying to do a conscious exercise of critique to identify improvements in the case those designs were meant to be made with the viewer’s understanding in mind.

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6 examples of bad dashboard designs

Dashboards are used to present large amounts of information in a condensed and visual form. 

They are meant to be represented on a single screen, to make an efficient use of the space, avoid superfluous graphics and include actionable, meaningful and relevant data according to viewers objectives.

However, we can find some examples where dashboards display the information in the wrong way. These are some examples of bad designs that can make a nicely intentioned dashboards fail.

1. Tiny and spaced

Yet the dashboard is displayed in one single screen, the amount of white space between charts make it difficult to read as unique piece of information. Increasing font-size and adjusting proportions would make it more efficient.

Resultado de imagen de dashboard opensource
Pentaho Dashboard
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