The SES dashboard was designed as a central location for visual up-to-date metrics showing compliance conditions within several functions of the org. Users were identified as program managers, engineers, and cross company compliance teams.
Scope: Discovery to Development
Client: Microsoft Advertising
My Role: Lead User Research / Lead UX Design / Lead Visual Design / Lead Usability Testing
Team: Alan (Program Manager), James (Developer)
- Providing high level views of the overall health within different functions of the org.
- Drilling down to identify weakness or open issues and identify action items.
- Providing customizable charts and graphs, allowing for data presentation based on the needs of different audiences.
- The ability to link and integrate source data for deeper drill down.
To sort through the ambiguity that usually begins with most projects, I started by having open and informal conversations with stakeholders and users. From these early discussions, I collected significant data regarding the requirements for generating reports within the dashboard system.
In this early discovery phase, an affinity map exercise to some degree is helpful. A concept map is always beneficial to help me understand the collected data in a contextual format.
While data synthesis is starting to take some form, I try to keep early designs very rough and informal. Quick sketching and whiteboarding sessions allowed me to explore various possibilities with the data visualizations. Sharing these early ideas with team members helped us reach a mutual understanding early in the process.
Following the philosophy of “failing fast”, design ideas were continually put out to the group for feedback. Metric indicators evolved from squares to ellipses. Metric circles being out of compliance were represented as larger ellipses. User feedback reacted negatively to this.
By creating wireframes and building some prototypes in Axure, the team was able to discuss and iterate different ways of drilling down for more detailed analytics.
A key requirement of the program manager was to have a flexible system, allowing for various size visual analytics. I created a grid, allowing for a single tile to represent a simple analytic like a number, while also allowing for more complex visual analytics to occupy several tiles.
While talking with various users of the dashboard system, I learned they would not be drilling down into granular data with a mobile device. The the mobile environment, a user would simply want to see quickly if there were any metric spaces out of compliance. Therefore, the mobile environment was designed to hide the complex data visualizations.