Public-facing dashboards provide transparency and accessibility, build connection and trust within communities, and empower leaders and residents to make data-backed decisions. In the past year our communities have faced the COVID -19 pandemic head-on. It’s no surprise that this led to a rise in dashboard use among state and local governments as well as the public. From tracking coronavirus cases to tracking vaccination rates, many government organizations know the benefit of visualizing data and then making that visual available to the public.
Not all dashboards are created equal. Below are three best practices to ensure accessibility and visual harmony when creating public-facing dashboards.
Making Data Accessible for All
Considering How Users Will Interact
In 2019, mobile devices made up more than half of worldwide internet traffic. In the U.S., 25% of adults do not own a laptop or desktop computer, while an overwhelming 97% own cell phones. Knowing that the majority of Americans are accessing the internet through their mobile device, build dashboards that render properly when viewed on the smaller screen sizes.
Desktop users view data as they would read a book, from left to right, then top to down. Mobile users scroll from top to bottom. Typically, you want public-facing dashboards to scroll from top to bottom when viewed on mobile. When viewed on a desktop, scrolling is not best practice, instead you want to fit the entire visualization in one view.
Embedding for Success
Public-facing dashboards are key-way governments can remain transparent, efficient, and connect to residents. The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the need for the accessibility of real-time information for all citizens from a wide range of backgrounds. Being purposeful with design choices not only help the overall look and feel of a dashboard but impact who can access it.
Nego Jovanovich is a solution architect in Avaap’s business intelligence and analytics practice. Nego’s is an experienced leader and has partnered with organizations in the higher education, government, healthcare, and retail sectors to turn data into actionable information. Nego is passionate about data literacy and serves as an analytics lecturer at The Ohio State University.