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Big-Mountain is focused on creating clarity from complexity and believes that simplicity and applying graphic design principles enhances understanding of complex matters. Read more of Big-mountains opinions, ideas and insights on data visualization and modern design here.

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ABOUT: The psychology of dealing with numbers

July, 2023, published on

If you work in data, you’ll no doubt be familiar with attention-grabbing headlines like this one: “Follow these 10 rules on how to improve your data dashboard, make it stand out from the rest, and communicate your data more effectively…”


Often with these how-to lists, I’m more interested in the ‘why’ behind the tips and tricks on offer. More specifically, I’ll end up looking into the psychological principles at the core of a better-performing piece of data design (in this case, a data dashboard).


I studied social psychology and wrote my master’s thesis on rational decision-making and heuristics. Although this was a while ago, insights from these fields are still relevant even after I’ve worked in market research and data visualisation for 15 years. In fact, studying how we interact with an overwhelming amount of information on a daily basis has only become more relevant today. So why should a dashboard be uncluttered, have a few large numbers (BANs) at the top, tell a clear story, and offer at least some additional insight or interactivity? The answers lie in how we make decisions.

> read the full article here

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