Blinded by the “check engine” light

Late last month on the Juice Analytics weblog, they were talking about Stephen Few’s new concept, the “faceted analytics display.

I like the idea, and I’m sure FADs are important. I just hate to see Few resort to a new term because inept designers have spoiled “dashboard.”

Dashboard is a valuable metaphor and should be defended. I’m afraid FAD will be forgotten.

Isn’t a FAD just a dashboard with extra features? When they added tachometers to auto dashboards, did dashboards become something else? If you add new software or a new peripheral to your computer, isn’t it still a computer?

Perhaps we could call it a “faceted” dashboard—but still a dashboard. That name is still stronger than FAD.

Using “faceted” might force a modifier onto dashboards with just one face. How about “dumb,” as in dumb dashboard? Then we’d call the really bad dashboards just “dumber.”

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