How prominent should alerts be on our business intelligence dashboards? One might be tempted to say right away that alerts and alarms should always be as big as possible. Well, keep in mind that digital dashboards are challenged to reflect the shades of grey that exist in the business and political environments in which they are built. We have to balance between the “Did you know?” advisories, the “Better check this out.” alarm, and the “OMG, shut down the reactor!” error alert.
Digital dashboards are small canvases that reflect the daily mayhem of our businesses. The more we jam onto that canvas, the harder it is to notice any one thing in particular. Will we notice little alert icons on our busy dashboards?
Does this mean we should put less on our dashboards? Recently, I’ve been installing apps on my iPhone and have noticed the very different approaches to using the screen space.
Here is a screenshot of a one-button application. The screen is literally filled with one big action button:
Imagine a big honking red alert icon that comes up on your dashboard when you need to stop what your’re doing and tend to an emergency situation. Too “big” for my taste, but you get the point.
Of course, we have to get into the business of parsing the subtleties behind various alert levels. For a humorous look at dashboard alerts, check out this video. Click on the image to go over to Dashboards.TV to see the video.
Isn’t that a great video?
Here is a good post about dashboard alerts from the smart folks at Juice Analytics:
Here are some icons for your use in creating “big” dashboard alerts.
Tags: Dashboard Alert icons