Understand how to provide feedback through dashboards

  • data-vis
  • idea
  • dashboard
  • spring
  • “What you measure, you improve.” But how does this actually work?
  • To understand effective, motivational data design, you need to understand the psychology of feedback.
  • Effective dashboards provide effective feedback and rely on two dynamics:
    1. They increase our commitment to a goal; by:
      • Highlighting past progress (e.g., Atom, fundraising progress bars)
      • Making the feedback experience itself rewarding or fascinating (e.g., Atom, Robinhood)
      • Downplaying failures (e.g., weight graphs)
      • Shrinking the perceived distance to a larger goal (e.g., fundraising thermometers)
    2. They draw contrast between our current state and goal state; with:
      • Two numbers (e.g., speed limit signs)
      • Long distance goals (e.g., weight graphs, fundraising progress bars)
      • Social comparisons
      • Various benchmarks (e.g., Tufte and Powsner, Worklytics)
  • Example: The left speaks to viewers’ commitment. The right highlights the contrast between users’ current and target states.