I did system monitoring dashboard for on winforms and website.

I stucked on 2 points ;

1-) All the controls in the dashboard page are real time data. However In first look, Users doesn't understand that all controls are dynamic or realtime data. What are your suggestions to make it looks like dynamic or realtime ?

2-) The Header, Left menu and container panels and control backgrounds are kinda same color and it feels like users can not identify clearly which is which, or it comes to me wrong something about that. Maybe thats fine. I just want to hear your suggestions on it if any ?

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2 Answers 2


Real Time

How often are you pulling the data to plot in the graph? If the intervals are short enough, the movement of the graph will indicate real time.

Additionally, you can put a timer with current time.

If you have any metrics that change constantly, you can display those and change the value when a new one is pulled. Flash the metric once per interval, indicating the value was updated.


See how new data is pulled in and listed here as a log, the constant updating and tie stamp instantly tells the user how real time the data is.

Navigation and Panels

You can try playing with the background color of the panels and the panels themselves. Background color can be lighter, so users notice it is visually a distinct section compared to navigation.

  • Thank you for your response. The background updates in 20 seconds. Which is long for the users. I will try to implement what you said for background.
    – john true
    Aug 6, 2017 at 14:07

1) I agree with Lucas concerning a clock. Especially, a clock with seconds ticking. And flash something every time a number changes in the data is a good idea if there aren't a lot of updates. For extra good measure, add a small label titled, "LIVE" and have that blink once per second.

2) The left side nav is good as is. A dashboard does its job best if the colors on the page are sparingly being used to help the data. If the navigation also utilizes color -- that is competition for the eyeball. And the navigation should not be a distraction from the true purpose of the dashboard -- the colored data.

  • Thank you for the comments. Where should i put the 'live' label ? Dashboard pages updates the data for every 15 secons by the way.
    – john true
    Aug 10, 2017 at 7:10
  • Every 15 seconds is good enough as being considered LIVE. Right? If you do add a digital clock, I can imagine it would look nice and neat if the AM/PM could be Superscript while the blinking (2 seconds on / 0.5 sec off) word, "LIVE" sits underneath as if Subscript.
    – jhurley
    Aug 14, 2017 at 13:45

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