Finally, we have an easy dataset to work with. It means we have more time to focus on design and formatting style, in this blog, I would walk you through about my design process to create an insightful and user-friendly dashboard for the San Francisco Police Department.


1. Color Palette Selection


I scoured the internet for information about the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD). Inspired by their official logo, I decided to incorporate similar colors into my dashboard design. The SFPD logo features shades of blue and purple. I opted them as the primary color, symbolizing trust and professionalism. The secondary color, a warm gold, adds a touch of sophistication. These colors would form the backbone of my dashboard’s visual identity.


2. Defining the Purpose


My goal was clear: create a dashboard that assists police officers in analyzing incident data. Officers needed a tool to compare incident rates across different years. With this in mind, I set out to design a user-friendly interface that would allow them to select specific years and visualize trends.


4. Building the Dashboard


Heatmap Visualization


To demonstrate the concentration of incident reports, I chose a heatmap. Heatmaps are excellent for revealing patterns over time. By plotting incidents on a calendar grid, officers could instantly identify peak periods of activity. The darker the color, the higher the incident count.


Yearly Comparison


I included a dropdown menu where officers could select a specific year. The dashboard would then display a line chart showing incident rates over the chosen year. This feature allowed officers to compare trends, identify spikes, and allocate resources accordingly.


5. Drawbacks from feedback


Heatmap Size


One challenge I encountered was the size of the heatmap. When it comes to heatmap for 24h, the heatmap could become overwhelming. To address this, I would increase the size of other elements like map and number cards to make it less overwhelming.


Contrast Enhancement



The initial line chart on my dashboard is lacks contrast. To improve readability, I should adjust the color scale. lighter shades now stood out more prominently against the darker background. This change would made it easier for officers to interpret the data.


6. Conclusion


The San Francisco Police Incident Dashboard now provides officers with a powerful tool to analyze incident trends, help themallocate resources effectively, and enhance public safety. As I continue my journey in data visualization, I’m reminded of the impact our designs can have on real-world scenarios.


Take a look of final product!

Pujiang Zhang
Author: Pujiang Zhang

A recent graduate with a Master of Information Technology from the Queensland University of Technology with a literature background in digital media. My academic journey has fueled my passion for making informed decisions through data analysis, and I'm fascinated by the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and its societal impacts. Beyond the world of data, I find joy in activities like jogging and swimming. I also have a strong interstate in philosophy and history, dedicating my spare time to exploring the depths of these subjects.