How would you expect to see the status of a systems CPU, memory and disk space on a dashboard?

The common way is to have gauges and pie charts, but is this really the best way?

And what kind of information would you expect to see with the infographic? Stuff like memory in percent/GB, would you expect to see the total memory in GB and so on?

  • Do you mean infographic or visualization? Oct 13, 2016 at 8:08
  • The principles of infographic and data visualization design seeks to either make the data easier to interpret/understand for the user, or to help them make decisions based on the information displayed. What are you aiming to do by showing the status of the system? And what type of information are you intending to show?
    – Michael Lai
    Oct 13, 2016 at 21:48

2 Answers 2


CPU, memory and disk space are all finite resources for the device.

Gauges work well for this because the total usage of the resource can be shown in this context. At at glance, you can see how much of the resource is consumed, how much of the resource remains and also how much of the resource there is.

Highcharts gauge

Note that gauges don't have to be represented as semi-circles or circles they can also be done using a bar e.g. a scale on an analog thermometer.

Either a pie chart or a component/stacked bar can be used to show a breakdown of resource usage.

Highcharts stacked bar chart

However, both breakdown as visual representations when there are too many divisions being illustrated. You can always fall back on a regular bar chart if this is the case.

Highrise bar chart

You will need to ask your users what they would expect to see on the dashboard.


I think Andre's answer covers the basics. If you want to include more intriguing things that not everybody offers, you could think about your user group and consider what additional information they might want.

For example, people who are not super tech-savvy might have trouble understanding the numbers. For them it could be more useful to see some of these things:

  • Which folders are currently taking most disk space? (Some users will want to free up space and this is vital information for that.)
  • Showing some recent changes that have strongly impacted the performance of the device.
  • Showing all the information a help desk might ask in one nice clear box. (CPU information, serial numbers etc)

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