Our dashboard has data that is static such as names and full budgets and also has columns which are affected by the date range which is selected.

The user's attention always jumps to the same columns which contain the largest numbers and also happen to be the column with the data that does not change. We want the attention to be drawn to the data which is changing as this is what the user is really looking for.


2 Answers 2


Assuming you are not reading a foreign language, the eyes usually follow a general left to right path and rest on the left side of the screen. Hence any subtle change in the data located on the right side of the table would be overlooked.

Rearranging the Column

Based on your screenshot, it appears that your static data resides on the left side of the table and the dynamic ones are on the right. Have you tested this on a smaller screen device? Do you have to scroll to the right to view the dynamic data?

If the order of the column is not important, you might want to consider rearranging the column and moving the dynamic data closer to the left of the table.

Animating the Data Cell

Just to add on what @Raphaelle has proposed on using animation. If the data updates instantly, you might want to animate the background colour of the data cell instead. Flash and fade out a different colour (e.g. yellow) on the data cell. This would draw their focus to the part that has changed. This should do the trick.

Move the Datepicker

Alternatively you could adopt a more drastic approach by changing the table layout:


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups


How about simply having a different background colour for those columns that you want to highlight ?

Also you could put some kind of animated loader on the values that vary after a change of date range : the user picks a new date range and all the values of the "amount spent" column (and other columns if applicable) don't appear immediately. Instead an animation signifies that it is being re-calculated. It will attract attention and also build expectation.

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