Over my 15 plus years of working in Analytics and creating reports and dashboards, one of the most common mistakes I see with data visualisations is content squeezed together.
Don’t be afraid to give everything some space!
If you’ve ever been to an art gallery, you may have noticed how far apart the pieces are spread. If you were hanging pictures in your home, would you clump them all together or allow some space around each?!
When producing dashboards or any other types of Data Visualisations, ensure you provide enough room for your visuals to breathe. This will make them easier to digest and give a better overall visual appeal.
Say for example you want to put some high level metrics and a more detailed table below, you may start by scrunching everything possible into the page you believe a user would need. I’ve seen it many times where one visual is placed within a couple of pixels of the other and it starts to look a bit like the image below.
The above view is way too congested and is difficult to decipher one value against another.
Instead, give plenty of space to each visual and use more of the page.
If you think you need to push all your visuals together to allow space for other visualisations, then you will probably need to rethink your approach to design. Make sure you are fulfilling the highest priority needs first and take advantage of tooltips with more detailed visualisations or navigation to other views.
Also think about placing visuals at the centre of the page instead of to the top left.
I will be providing more content around these topics in later stories.