How would you stylize an "output box" where data is being written onto a dashboard-like screen? It is for an operator to be able to monitor incoming data.

I want the user to be able to easily distinguish this box from the following:

  • Input boxes (where user input is requested)
  • Static text

Putting a border around the number makes it easy to distinguish from static text, but makes it look like an input box... I'm at a loss. Please help.

  • you can change the font family also, this may also help. – Maitrik Desai Sep 12 '15 at 7:17
  • Part of your question is UX, but a big part is graphic design and implementation - both of which are off topic. Hence I'm putting the question on hold to give you time to edit the question to cut out the pure graphic design (selecting a gradient) and implementation (CSS). – JohnGB Sep 12 '15 at 21:47
  • Apologies. I removed references to CSS. – Niko Bellic Sep 13 '15 at 23:00
  • @NikoBellic It wasn't only the references that I pointed to (although those were easy examples). What you're asking is a set of design criteria and what you want is a design solution. A UX question would be more along the lines of "How do you draw attention to an output box". Basically something general enough to be useful to other people reading this site. – JohnGB Sep 14 '15 at 13:04

The idea of output value is mostly about correct operator's mental model of the system, otherwise it has low sense for them.

To draw their attention, create focal point for the output box using Gestalt principle, but don't count on color only


Elements with a point of interest, emphasis or difference will capture and hold the viewer’s attention.

This principle suggests that our attention will be drawn toward contrast, toward the element that is unlike the others in some way. In the image below, your eye should be drawn to the square. It’s a different shape and color from the other elements. I’ve also given it a drop shadow to further emphasize it.
enter image description here

Source: Design Principles: Visual Perception And The Principles Of Gestalt

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