Significant amounts of dense or confusing quantitative information can be a challenge to understand, even for those who are experienced in reading complex data. When intricate data sets are more streamlined and visual, the information is far more easily absorbed and understood.
The rules of design
This is where design comes in. For a visual design to be clear, concise and engaging, it needs to follow some basic design rules.
The commands of good design date back to ancient Greek architecture and art. The Golden Mean, a mathematical formula for generation proportions, was used throughout Greek art and architecture to produce an inherent balance that neared design perfection.
Some historians believe the naturally balanced proportions of a nautilus shell were the inspiration for this ratio, as its dimensions directly correspond and reflect the mathematics of the Golden Mean.
Why balance is important in design
Balance is important in every aspect of design, as it allows for an easier more immediate pre-attentive cognition. Achieving balance is crucial in the designing process, but especially in the delivery of quantitative information.
Pre-attentive cognition is a form of subconscious processing – essentially it is our brain working out information before we are aware of it on a conscious level.
The ability to process faster and more accurate information is crucial in the fast-paced world of business. Graphical representations help companies by saving time and money as well as helping to better execute strategy. Clearly, it is essential that all visualisations are designed for optimised efficiency and viewer clarity.
By distributing the visual weight of colour, line, form and space, our brains find it easier and faster to process information. According to The Getty art museum in Los Angeles, the balanced distribution and balance of objects, space, colours and texture work to make a design feel stable.
While design rules are necessary in art and architecture, it too is important in when using dashboards and scorecards to measure business data.
Emphasis on understanding
As dashboards typically attempt to provide management with high-level information about different aspects of the business, they must function with clarity.
By using design principles in the creation of dashboards and data visualisations, a broader sense of understanding can be garnered from the information. Using dashboards and scorecards to gauge the health of a company gives greater accuracy and a wider scope of understanding to managers from all specialities.
For more information on how CDP can help provide your company, get in touch today.