DashboardDesignHagan Riverswww.tworivers.comUIE Virtual SeminarFebruary 23, 20121:30pm EST
It’s pretty - but is it useful?
Put your focus on tasks
Get inspired
Mistakes to avoid
Customization means hard choices
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Dashboards with Hagan Rivers


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  • Hello, I am Hagan Rivers and I will be presenting a UIE virtual seminar on Thursday, Feb 23 at 1:30pm EST. The seminar is called Dashboard Design and my goal is to share my experience from designing dashboards for dozens of applications.\n
  • It seems like every application has a dashboard these days. Many of them are hard to use. But why is that? Why is dashboard design so hard? Well, a lot of folks look at these and say: they’re hard to use because they’re ugly. And it’s true: many of them are ugly ... very very ugly. But I don’t think that’s what makes them hard to use. It might contribute, but I don’t think it’s the real problem.\n
  • Take this dashboard. It’s very beautiful. You may have even seen it before - I’ve seen it at conferences where people put it up to talk about a great dashboard design. But the truth is that this dashboard, while beautiful, is useless. It doesn’t support the user’s tasks or goals. And in my mind it’s much worse to have a dashboard that is useless than it is to have one that’s merely ugly. Ugly, it turns out, is really not that hard to fix. \n\n\n
  • But making a dashboard useful? That requires that you really know your users, their skills, and how they use your software. \n\nThe key to making a great dashboard is to know your users and put your design emphasis on tasks. The WordPress dashboard shows enormous attention to detail - really hitting key tasks for the user. It gives the user a great starting point for the product and helps to guide him into using it. \n
  • We’re going to look at a lot of dashboards during this talk. I want you to be inspired by some of the great work that’s going on out there. Not just beautiful, but also useful. Maybe you’ll see something that you can use in your product, or something that generates an idea in your mind - that’s my hope.\n
  • And we’ll talk about common mistakes that you can avoid - like sticking the weather in your dashboard - so that you don’t have to repeat those mistakes in your application.\n\n\n
  • Finally, we’re going to talk about customizable dashboards. Everyone seems to want to be able to give their users a way to create and edit their own dashboards. It seems like such a little thing, but will it be used? Does your software have customizable dashboards because there is a real user need for it? Or just because no one is willing to admit that you don’t actually know what your users need in a dashboard. It’s not something to step into lightly because it has a huge effect on your dashboard’s design. We’ll talk about how hard it is to create beautiful, hand crafted dashboards in a customizable framework and a lot of additional things you’re going to have to consider if you want a customizable dashboard.\n\nI’m really looking forward to this virtual seminar on February 23 and I hope you’ll join me.\n
  • Dashboards with Hagan Rivers

    1. 1. DashboardDesignHagan Riverswww.tworivers.comUIE Virtual SeminarFebruary 23, 20121:30pm EST
    2. 2. D’oh!
    3. 3. It’s pretty - but is it useful?
    4. 4. Put your focus on tasks
    5. 5. Get inspired
    6. 6. Mistakes to avoid
    7. 7. Customization means hard choices
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