Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Simple requirements gathering questions for dashboard design

Today I gave a bit of a tutorial to my team at work* about how to develop effective dashboards and I included a section on how I like to gather requirements from the people I'm making the dashboard for. I basically have a framework of simple questions, that once complete should give you the bulk of what you need to know to build an effective and useful dashboard.

I thought I'd share a version of it here. Please bear in mind of course that this is definitely a simplification - good requirements gathering is a conversation and entails a good deal of understanding of the subject and data - what I'm focussing on here is simply the content/structure of the dashboard.

So here's what I do, I ask questions. I definitely do not ask 'what do you want to see?' or 'what numbers do you need?' as these open ended questions often lead to over loaded monstrosities that somehow don't get to the heart of the matter. And I don't get people to fill out forms, because that's boring.

Here are some of the questions I ask, and how they can help me design a dashboard. I hope they help you too!

 *did I mention I got a new job? I'm now working in Product Insights at Spotify, yay!


  1. very nice...thank you for sharing! JJ-Tableau

  2. Yeah, I'll be using it.

    One quick thing - when you click on the chart, the overlay is hard to read. The browser window in Chrome dims, which contrasts poorly with the transparent/empty 'fill' on each line's 'cell'.

    1. oh you are right, hmmm, I'll try a different version later today, I'm not happy with the fuzziness of the text either. Thanks for spotting.


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