Good Post From Stephen Redmond at Cap Ventis

I’ve just come across a good post by Stephen Redmond on his blog Qlik Tips that covers the importance of choosing the right background for your dashbaord:

And I promise I didn’t write the comment bemoaning the lack of Qlikview visuals posts!

The only point I’d add is that whilst white backgrounds are on the whole the best choice it’s worth noting that we aren’t creating websites we’re trying to create dashboards…albeit delivered via the web in many cases and for me there are subtle differences between the two that can mean a dashboard can work with a colour scheme that wouldn’t be suited to a webpage:


3 Responses to “Good Post From Stephen Redmond at Cap Ventis”
  1. Yay! Fame at last.

    While we are not creating web pages, the principals are still going to apply to an extent. Both sets of designers are creating for the computer screen.

    When using dark backgrounds, you tend to need to use stronger colours to make the information stand out. My belief is that stronger colours should only be used for emphasis and the analysis page that you have shown (CPU Spent from the Server Performance document) doesn’t need any emphasis. The same document, with a white background and pastel coloured bars looks, to me, a lot better.

    Just my humble opinion of course.



    • qvdesign says:


      I don’t disagree at all. In the vast majority of cases the principals that apply to designing a web page apply to a dashboard and 99% of the time when developing for clients I use the white background / softer colours for data / off-black for text & axis etc.

      However in the case of the dashboard shown it was designed for an IT Support department who often place it up on a large display and it was felt that the bright on dark combination ‘travelled’ better when viewed from a distnace or simply glanced at. I find sometimes using the opposite can lead to dashboards that look washed out and un-engaging and where the dark text can be more prominent than the data being displayed.

      The reason I finally went to the dark side as it were was from researching stockmarket trading dashboards which on the whole are displayed with a black background and bright colours; and who am I to argue with multi-billion dollar institutions!?

      All the best,


  2. Alexander says:

    I agree to the most points however something we really forget most of the times is who are we designing for?

    We perhaps aren’t designing web pages but for a large mass of casual users that wants to get information and then leave perhaps the webpage approach is better, i.e bright colors, single sheet approach (yes, break the fold rule) and so on.

    For heavy usage users I really don’t like the white background design. It gets to bright with to little focus. Use the white space to draw focus to important graphs and areas of your app with a darker more neutral color to make the white space “pop”. To bad it doesn’t demo that good 😉

    Here is a small clip from a CRM-system that really makes it work,

    Just my two cents 🙂

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