How To Create A Good PLM Dashboard?

I came across to some interesting articles related to what in modern language called UX (User Experience). Articles are from UX Magazine. One of them catch specifically my interest with the topic of Dashboard Design. The another one is more generic – Rich Internet Application Screen Design.

I made some write ups reviewing Dashboard article.

Dashboard UI’s is designed to provide rapid contextual information regarding some higher task or goal, to which the majoritythe user’s attention is directed. This stands in high contrast with regular desktop applications, where the UI is (usually) designed to fulfill a specific task or goal in itself.

Navigation across multiple dashboard pages is a tough subject. There are lots of navigation controls available, but most of them are designed for desktop use. Tabs are an oft-used means of navigation, but they’re only useful if there are few of them. More specifically: any more than seven (plus or minus two) are too many. When the amount of tabs reaches that number, thetime needed to locate the desired tab takes too long for comfort.

Dashboard UIs are an interesting subset of interfaces, and there are some considerable differences between dashboards anddesktops. The examples mentioned in this article show that principles that work in regular desktop interfaces don’t necessarily apply to all types of dashboards. As usual, knowledge of your user, her motivations, and her environment is vitalwhen designing helpful dashboard interfaces. of

I think everybody like Dashboards. In my view, an idea of a dashboard came to the software in general and to the PLM specifically as the way to resolve the complexity of user interaction. However, the idea that in the beginning was clean and bright passed through several conversions and a result is not a good as expected.

Multiple PLM Dashboards I’ve in PLM applications are often becoming a place where a huge amount of information is concentrating. Lots of them actually running so after the goal to bring as much as possible information to the display, and it makes Dashboard absolutely un-usable.

My conclusion- in order to make a successful dashboard, you need to know your user. Dashboards cannot be created for multiple types of users and several goals. The single goal and user-oriented scenario is absolutely needed to create a successful one. The general purpose dashboard has no chance to get their original goal – simplicity. Absence of focus on the specific goal does not allow to show only needed information and in the comfort way for understanding (graph, map, gauge, etc.).

I’m very interesting to hear what is your experience in dashboard creation. What are the successful ones and what are those dashboards that failed? I’m looking forward to our discussion.

Best, Oleg



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  • Dashboard UI’s. should be a simple overview. Two of my favorites. Mint. WordPress. Both are cutsomizable as well. I’m playing with some dashboard approaches to blog/website design. Makes you think how people are going to use it the few seconds they first glance at a site. The seconds that determine if they’ll stay there or not.

  • Thanks for the post. I think Dashboard in PLM sense would be –
    – simple in nature to understand
    – have real time data
    – UI based on the user role. e.g senior management will be interested in viewing Project status & so forth.
    – have graphical representation may be charts,graphs etc
    – easily user configurable, may have widgets
    – have facility to integrate with other legacy system to get the data
    – facility to generate various reports
    – have message board to have present change related information, or kind of ECM dashboard
    – visual indication of various project states
    – have message board when enterprise wide design related one note will flow
    – etc..etc..

    I think good dashboard will always save time to search the information. I think so…
    Just my thoughts …. !

  • Oleg,

    No text, or as little text as possible. I used to create dashboards for a CRM system for things like call metrics, forecasts, etc. Biggest complaint: no graphics, all numbers and words.

    I also think limiting the text would help in a multi-language scenario, too.



  • Josh, Thanks for your thoughts! You made a great point about few seconds of dashboard use. Best, Oleg

  • Chandrajit, Thank you for your proposal list! It basically reminds me a lot of things that related in general to the development of user interfaces. What I think is the most relevant to the dashboards are – graphical rep, widgets, a visual indications. Great discussion! Best, Oleg

  • Michael, Thanks for commenting! Great point about a ‘text’. Graphical dashboards always look nicer… Best, Oleg

  • Shaoping Zhou

    I think of dashboard as chef-made food. I have come across different types of PLM dashboards. The successful ones follow a simple rule: targeted at users who need the data to make critical business decisions. Specifically, I have seen dashboards ordered for new product managers/executives who are concerned about the product’s readiness to launch. The dashboard aggregates multiple sources of data and has rules to calculate the program’s readiness based on schedule, supplier qualificaiton completion, environmental completion, etc….

  • Shaoping, Thank you for you comment! Yes, I agree completely. In today’s enterprise world, a successful dashboard is a delicious meal. In order to prepare it, you need to learn a lot about the organization, get some technical and tool preparations that reflect customer environment. A very costly approach. Best, Oleg

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