Learn about which dashboard design is best for you, and check out the best dashboard design examples of 2019. Brought to you by WANDR Studio, ranked the #1 UX agency in Los Angeles.
At WANDR, we work with clients to build both internal dashboards, and client-facing dashboards. While we cannot post our client work (NDAs), we’d love to share with you an overview on types of dashboards and some examples for your understanding. If you have any questions about which dashboard is right for you, give us a call!
Reviewing dashboard examples allows us a chance to share with you what it takes to create a successful user experience (UX).
The design of the dashboard directly impacts the overall UX of any website or application.
Think of the dashboard as a homepage for your information. It often gives users a global overview of important data, controls, and functions.
What to Look for in the Best Dashboard UX
The top dashboard design examples contain these common features:
- Clean layouts and visuals
- Immediate access to key data
- Access to global navigation
- Customization or personalization
Without these elements, users struggle to find relevant information. This limits the effectiveness of your data. The design should include a clean layout — directing the eyes to key information.
The type of information we choose to display is also important. The dashboard should include the most relevant data or controls, without the need to navigate the application to find important updates.
Some of the best dashboard designs also include customization or personalization. These give the user the option to customize the layout or design. It increases engagement.
With this is mind, check out some of the top dashboard design examples from 2019. Learn how these tools create a better user experience and better business decisions.
4 Primary Types of Dashboard Design Examples
Dashboard examples come in a variety of styles. Each delivers a summary.
The four standard subtypes of dashboard design examples include:
Choose the type of dashboard based on:
- The needs of your users.
- The type of data you need to present on the screen.
Each dashboard has a unique interface, layout, and key performance indicators (KPIs).
Operational Dashboard Examples
Operational dashboards help track business operations. These are mostly used by supervisors or junior managers to monitor the performance of different departments.
Common operational dashboard examples include:
- Customer service dashboards
- Marketing performance dashboards
- Inventory and shipments dashboards
- Manufacturing dashboards
- Sales dashboards
Operational dashboard design examples measure performance at a lower level compared to other dashboards. The information included is typically intended for a specific department.
These dashboard examples often track data in real-time. An operational dashboard should provide an overview of key metrics. This allows for more time efficient decision-making.
The data included on the screen depends on the department and industry. For example, a manufacturing operational dashboard may track the number of products manufactured, along with the number of returns or defects.
Dundas Data Visualization offers a great example of an operational dashboard for IT operations. The layout is simple and includes essential data for IT monitoring, such as outstanding requests and the overall number of requests.
Strategic Dashboard Examples
Strategic dashboards give users a higher-level view of business operations. Instead of focusing on a specific department, these dashboard examples focus on KPIs that impact the entire organization.
- Target and actual revenue
- New customer acquisition
- Cost per acquisition
- Number of new leads
- Marketing qualified leads
- Sales qualified leads
These metrics help senior managers develop more effective strategies. The information included on the dashboard may not require real-time updates. These dashboard design examples may feature hourly or daily updates. They provide a birds-eye view of the performance of the organization.
A strategic dashboard also gives upper management a quick overview of organization-wide goals and strategies.
To design the best dashboard for this category, we only include the most relevant KPIs. The dashboard needs to provide anyone within the company with a quick and concise summary that tracks performance against specific goals.
ZOHO breaks down the elements needed for the best strategic dashboard and provides several examples. Best practices include linking metrics to business objectives and adding insights to the overview.
Analytical Dashboard Examples
While strategic dashboards offer a broad overview of an organization, analytical dashboards focus on specific areas within a department. This offers more details for specific activities, such as marketing spend.
Analytical dashboards may compare metrics or measure the performance of individual actions. This may include analytics for an individual marketing campaign or an overview of the performance of your website.
The best dashboard UX for analytical review provides insight into specific questions that your target users need answering. For example, a website analytical dashboard typically answers the following questions:
- How many people visited the site?
- What path led the visitors find the site?
- How many visitors left without completing an action?
- For how long did visitors stay on the site?
- How many pages did each visitor view?
Google Analytics is the most well-known example of an analytics dashboard. It gives you a quick snapshot of the performance of your website. It allows you to drill down deeper for more insight.
Tactical Dashboard Examples
A tactical dashboard includes many of the same features found in the analytical dashboard. Both dashboards track analytics for specific activities. However, tactical dashboard examples typically offer a higher-level view of activities.
Instead of looking at the number of visitors to a website, a tactical dashboard may evaluate the efforts taken to increase visitors, requiring marketing and advertising campaign KPIs.
Tactical dashboard design examples may also combine elements of the operational and strategic dashboards, but with a focus on a specific project or area of an organization.
One example of a tactical dashboard is an IT project management dashboard. This dashboard may include a variety of data related to the project, such as:
- Project launch date
- Overdue tasks
- Project log
- Project completion progress
The best dashboard for tactical analysis includes various metrics to help managers and supervisors maintain an efficient workflow.
The Operations Reporting Tool from Klipfolio is a prime example of a web-based tactical dashboard. It includes an executive summary of key metrics from multiple departments, giving managers an overview of key processes.
Developing the Best Dashboard for You
Developing the best dashboard provides your users with a better experience, but also with the opportunity to make intelligent decisions based on data.
To select the right dashboard, define your objectives and target audience. Understanding your internal business goals and the needs of your users allows us to choose the right metrics for the dashboard.
After selecting metrics, we group the information into separate compartments. For example, sales metrics and marketing metrics may require separate sections on a strategic dashboard. Operational dashboards offer quick access to real-time data. Strategic dashboards track metrics for an entire organization, giving decision makers valuable insight into developing more effective business strategies. Analytical dashboards focus on specific activities, providing a more in-depth look at the performance of an organization or department. A tactical dashboard is a type of analytical dashboard used for logistics.
Along with the dashboard design examples discussed, some dashboards may use a hybrid design, containing elements from multiple dashboard categories. To build the best dashboard for your project, focus on the needs of your users.
What is your favorite dashboard design example?
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