The Dashboard Spy

April 12, 2006

Using Size as a Visual Indicator on Business Dashboards – Does size matter?

Filed under: Dashboard Screenshots — dashboardspy @ 9:46 pm

Here is an idea out of left field that I have yet to see on a digital dashboard – using size as an indicator of how critical something is. We are all familiar with the tried and true red/green/yellow light indicator and the scale or the dial. How about somehow making some visual indicator bigger in dimensions as well? If any of you have seen this used on a dashboard, how about sending me a screenshot?

I got this idea from a real-world, physical device where size indicates how full of data something is. You have to check out the Flash Pump, a usb storage device that swells in physical size as it gets filled up. As the site states, "The size of the device changes depending on the amount of data it holds. When the device is about to blow up you will see the familiar error message on your screen: "There is not enough free space". When switched off the flashbag remains pumped up, so you can estimate with the naked eye how much more pics, books and music albums can be transferred into it."

Isn't this cool? I love physical indications of digital state. Really sets me thinking.

Enterprise Dashboard

Screenshot dashboards

So what or who is The Dashboard Spy? As his about page states, The Dashboard Spy is just a guy interested in the design of enterprise dashboards. He could not find any executive dashboard design source books (or even screenshots of real business dashboards) and so set about creating his own. Finally convinced to post his extensive collection of dashboard screenshots online, he was amazed to find how popular it has become. If you have a nice screenshot of a digital dashboard, balanced scorecard, or any business intelligence graphic to share, please send an email to info _at_ Also check out The Dashboard Spy's favorite books.

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