Effective data visualization supports cognition in many ways. It reduces cognitive load on the user, aids in problem solving, and facilitates discovery of insights. Poor visualizations, on the other hand, confuse and lead to wrong conclusions.
Since cognitive science has given us tremendous understanding of the mechanisms and processes by which we perceive things, comprehend them, and use them for decision-making, it’s reasonable to assume that such findings are very relevant to dashboard design issues. How users interpret data, what demands our designs place on their attention, what knowledge they need for making effective decisions?all these factors need to be considered while designing an information dashboard. Here are four guidelines derived from studies on human cognition that can be applied while designing information dashboards: