Readers of DFA know that I’m big on not immediately giving customers what they asked for, and instead asking the question “why” to learn what the real latent customer needs are. And for you internal analytics folks, remember your employees, vendors, etc. are your “customers” whether you think of them that way or not! Anyhow, … Read moreHow to solicit *real* needs from users via UX research interviews
If you’re in the analytics space, then you almost certainly have at least one “dashboard” customers use. I generally define dashboards as the landing page for your product when people log in, and so keep that in mind as you browse today’s design suggestions: Your dashboard is probably too low on information density. Dashboards with … Read moreHere are (5) dashboard design suggestions you can start to apply today
Here’s a super easy thing you can do today to evaluate your data product’s dashboard. If you’re displaying quantitative data of any sort, especially trends, then this will probably help you come up with opportunities to improve your design. Of course, testing the design with real users is always the best way to evaluate your … Read moreHere’s a fast way to evaluate the utility of your dashboard design
As both a musician, and a product designer, I loved a scene in the recent movie, The Founder. This film discusses the rise of McDonalds restaurants, and how the restaurant focused on its design and operations to enable speedy service to customers. In this scene, the restauranteurs chalked (designed) a speed-optimized layout for a kitchen on a tennis … Read moreWhat can McDonald’s teach you about prototyping?
Let’s talk about your product’s drift and keeping it in check. As your product evolves, it will likely grow in size, and get more complex over time. You’ll listen to customers, adapt to their needs, and over time will begin to encounter situations where different segments’ needs are in conflict, and you either dissatisfy one … Read moreHow can good design help you avoid product bloat and drift?
Ok, you probably know this one, but let’s dig in a little farther. I recently started to explore using the TORBrowser when surfing on public wi-fi for more security (later finding out that using a VPN, and not TOR, is what will enable safer surfing). However, in the process of downloading and trying the TORBrowser … Read moreWhat’s the #1 way you can simplify your service?
“That stuff probably belongs in the reporting section.” I’ve heard that one before. There’s probably a better approach. Remember: it’s not really about “analytics” — it’s about providing information to help your customers make better decisions. Shoveling your analytics into the “reporting section” can easily become a dumping ground for “stuff that might be useful” … Read moreBeware the dreaded “reporting section” in your analytics service
My teapot, or rather the water heater, helps me make great tea, based on the type of tea I want to drink. It also was a reminder for me about how good design means translating quantitative values into qualitative values people can relate to: As a tea drinker, my goal isn’t to heat the water … Read moreWhat can my teapot teach you about designing for analytics?
I hear it all the time on Quora, in real life, and from clients: “What BI tool should we use to visualize our data? Is there a good dashboard template you know of?” When it comes to designing analytics products and dashboards, templates and libraries aren’t necessarily bad, if you have spent the time to … Read moreWhat happens when you use templates for dashboards and analytics products?
This design “no-no” appears almost every time a new client [with a product that displays analytics] asks me to review their UI/UX. More often than not, I’m not provided with any relevant user tasks/usage contexts by which I can do my evaluation, but clients still want my opinion on what could be better, or what they’re … Read moreHere’s one of the simplest ways to simplify complex analytics