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.”

The data industry thrives on conversation. Please submit a comment.

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