The normal operation of any device or program is the perfect combination of UX and UI dashboard design . Dashboards are designed to simplify the perception of information, save time and increase work efficiency .
Dashboard – what is it for and where is it used
The use of dashboards is common in many industries and areas, while differing in tasks and design.
– Dashboard in the field of management – used to record KPI employees, time and productivity . For data transfer, various types of charts are most often used here, the interactive data of which makes the work more convenient and efficient.
– Information panel in marketing – to collect data on production processes, user behavior, site attendance , etc. Preference in this case is given to charts and dynamic metrics.
– Dashboards in fitness and health devices – to improve health through the collection of certain data , achieving goals, comparing activity and indicators, etc.
– Dashboards in education – to track attendance and performance statistics , as well as to analyze and evaluate the implementation of school programs.
Creating a dashboard helps users get all the data they need and build their path to achieve specific goals. At the same time, both components of efficiency are the most important:
– UX is responsible for the conformity of the product to the needs of users ;
– UI is designed to visualize information , present data in a convenient and understandable format.
That is why , when developing a dashboard design, it is worth considering possible errors and systematically conducting task analysis , which will help identify all the operational difficulties and find ways to improve the user experience of the product.
Development of UX dashboard design – task analysis
The purpose of such a study is to trace the entire path of the user from registration to the completion of the task, identify possible difficulties, remove unnecessary steps, etc.
The analysis also evaluates the complexity, frequency and time of performing tasks, the influence of various factors on this: emotions, type of thinking, environment, and various kinds of restrictions.
As a result, a decision is made how effectively the product performs its functions and how this result can be improved .
Task analysis specifically indicates what needs to be improved and what functions (indicators) are not used by the user. At the same time, the evaluation of unnecessary data is also very important, since it makes it possible to significantly simplify the work with the product.
Types of Dashboard Analysis – Targeting UX Design
There are two types of analysis that can help you investigate the effectiveness of UX design:
– hierarchical ;
– cognitive .
How to create a functional dashboard – hierarchical analysis
The very word ” hierarchy ” already implies the division of all information into primary and secondary . Based on this, the goals of hierarchical analysis include the division of the entire interaction process into separate stages – from the assessment of the main processes to specific subtasks.
At this stage , the convenience of completing each item on the way to the goal is evaluated. Developers may see clutter of subtasks or some difficulty in finding the logical next step in the process hierarchy.
Here it is important to adhere to the principle of hierarchy (inverted pyramid model), displaying the main information in positions convenient for perception and showing users how to continue working with the presented data.
Dashboard visualization – cognitive analysis
If the first type of analysis studies the functionality of the panel more, then the second one is aimed at assessing the user’s behavior – his emotions and actions at all stages.
This approach will show the difficulties in the intuitive perception of the product and tell you what points need to be improved .
Dashboard system – the main stages of UX design analysis
Stage #1: Monitoring
In this phase of the study, various methods are used:
– field study : analysis of the effectiveness of the product directly at the place of its use (applications for passenger check-in are best studied at airports, financial programs in bank branches, fitness applications in sports clubs, etc.);
– diary entries : daily documentation of interaction with the product will accurately indicate all its weaknesses and strengths ;
– interviewing users : will help to understand the quality and speed of tasks, the convenience and consistency of presenting information on the dashboard;
– usability test : creating a task prototype and testing it with the user will allow you to study in advance the reaction and actions of users to each metric and dynamic element, indicate difficulties in completing tasks;
– analytical programs : special tools (for example, Google Analytics) help to get a complete picture of user behavior on the board, evaluate the functionality of each metric and see weaknesses in visualizations and processes.
At this stage, you need to clearly define four main points in the UX design of the dashboard:
– definition of a trigger that prompts the user to interact;
– consistency and clarity of the path to the desired result (transitions by metrics, activation of individual zones, opening additional tabs, etc.);
– assessment of the knowledge and skills that the user must have to successfully work with the product;
– analysis of artifacts that may be needed in the process of work (entering personal data, downloading certain documents).
Stage 2: Dashboard evaluation – visualization of analysis data
With the help of special programs (UXPin User Flows, Miro, etc.), you can build a visual flowchart for analyzing the dashboard design.
Ultimately, developers get answers to the most important questions that determine the effectiveness of the dashboard :
– How many metrics are presented? How do they lead to the goal? Do they need to be optimized or expanded?
– Interaction time on the way to the goal? How can you influence the timing at each stage?
– Frequency of use . How often do users use certain indicators? How can you reduce repetitive steps?
– Physical and cognitive aspect of interaction. How convenient and accessible is the product for users with disabilities? How intuitive is the presentation of information and what mental effort (knowledge, skill and experience) does it require to decipher.
Analyzing the UX design of a dashboard will reveal user behavior , revealing pain points and weaknesses on the dashboard. This data is successfully used to improve the product, increase its functionality and efficiency in achieving goals.
How to make the right dashboard: an example of UI design analysis
An ideal dashboard should also have a high-quality UI design . Its elements must :
– be up to date ;
– give a complete picture of the situation;
– suggest next steps to respond to all changes.
As a result, an effective UI panel makes it possible not only to receive up-to-date information , but also to make adjustments to it to achieve the desired result.
You also need to understand that the user must quickly deal with all the metrics, adding up from them a complete reading of the entire amount of information. Therefore, you need to be extremely attentive to visual elements , not overloading the dashboard with unnecessary numbers without a semantic load. Distracting effects , complex 3D graphics, lack of space between data blocks, etc. can also make it difficult to perceive data.
In the UI design of a dashboard, it is worth remembering the meaning of color and font . Tonal gradation or play of contrast should help read the data, not confuse the user. It is considered optimal to use 3-4 shades on the panel, but it is better to choose one font , playing where necessary with its weight and style.
Let’s look at a few examples of dashboards to understand the strengths and weaknesses of UI design.
Examples of dashboards: Worth a closer look!
Application for accounting finance
– intuitive data feed ;
– maintaining a balance between design patterns and graphic elements;
– ideal grouping of information into logical blocks;
– a clear separation of indicators in contrasting colors that are repeated in the graph and diagram;
– the presence of active zones , allowing to specify the data and get a more complete picture.
Simple Loyalty Platform Information Panel
– concise design , giving the entire amount of information on one screen;
– calm color contrast , clear selection of digital indicators;
– lack of information and visual overload ;
– the presence of active elements for obtaining additional data.
Dashboard versions: need improvement(
Analytics in the COVID-19 situation control dashboard
– lack of visual accents;
– monotony of the color palette , against which important digital data is lost;
– uniformity of information presentation;
– low interactivity does not allow viewing the chart data at the desired point, which significantly reduces the functionality of the panel.
Security Platform Information Panel
– lack of consistency in the arrangement of blocks: accent elements distract the user’s attention from important numbers on the dashboard;
– ill-conceived design and lack of clear metrics;
– the presence of blind spots – the presence of indicators, the specification of the data of which requires additional knowledge and experience;
– the complexity of perception and interaction with data.
High-quality dashboard: creating ux and ui design – summing up
How to build an intuitive control panel, you can peep in the video below:
By analyzing all the above aspects, it is possible to put together a single puzzle of UX / U I harmonization in the design of the information panel. For its maximum effectiveness it is necessary:
1) ensuring the submission of up-to-date data ;
2) intuitive logic of the user ‘s path from the first to the last step on the way to solving problems;
3) clear visualization of information for quick orientation and easy search for the necessary data and selection of necessary actions;
4) accessibility of perception and interaction – the ability to quickly determine the main and secondary, make adjustments and find active points to specify the necessary elements.
It is these properties that will make the dashboard truly effective , making even the most voluminous and difficult processes easy to understand and quick to solve .
KLONA specialists know the intricacies of creating dashboards , and will also be able to analyze tasks and improve an already working dashboard, increasing and optimizing its capabilities. Just contact us at the specified contacts and get advice from professionals.
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