Design a dashboard examples

We’re still in the process of working out exactly how our dashboards might look. We’ve showed several different designs to many people, and feel we’re getting closer to the ideal dashboard. But we still want to see what your ideal dashboard looks like.

One of the people we showed our designs to commented “I’m one of those awkward people who know what they don’t like when they see it, but find it difficult to identify up front what I do like!”. I quite agree! And my rough sketch will look, well, rough and sketchy, held up next to the more polished visio designs. But some of the best ideas were originally sketched on the back of a beermat (I can’t remember any examples, but they were ‘the best’ at the time!). So send us your sketches, scribbles, even beermats, and you’ll automatically be entered into our prize draw.

Here are some more from the team…

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3 Comments

  1. PDinCA
    Posted September 22, 2009 at 1:31 am | Permalink

    On the lines of the like-don’t-like comment in the original post:

    LIKE:
    Quest’s Spotlight on SQL Server – 95% happy, would be higher but some of the metrics configurations and options to “exclude this from the alert” are non-intuitively buried away. Simple green-through red color scheme is very good except for the (excellent) traffic-light floating bar’s shade of blue being easily mistaken for green on my ThinkPad’s LCD.

    Like the above tool’s in-built “education value” – would prefer the bouble-click to fire the drilldown, not bring up the education-dialog, but that’s a small niggle compared to the wealth of info the dialog presents in context.

    Icons are good – simple is good.

    DISLIKE:
    Idera’s visual candy-laden Diagnostic Manager UI. SO MUCH MEANINGLESS COLOR! Found myself having to scan everything to see if anything of consequence needed attention and navigation was a royal pain as the “calendar/scheduler” kept getting in the way. Uninstalled it after a few painful hours.

    AN ASK:
    Would you consider multiple “views” so that those who llike predominently graphs as their presentation style of choice are happy, and those who prefer icons+color have that choice, too. For example, there are many who prefer the graphical Explain Plan to the text/XML variety, much like the graphs vs. icons “display preference” and “toggle” I’d ask you include as a valuable option…

    • PDinCA
      Posted September 23, 2009 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Sorry for bum steer re “Idera’s eye candy” – you probably guessed I meant “SQL Sentry”… The UI is visually stunning, but, it is still uninstalled as Response 1.3 is simple enough and I don’t suffer visual overload…

      Apologies to the “Idera innocent”!

  2. Brian Harris
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Interesting feedback. Much appreciated.

    Our main objective in designing the overviews (the dashboard-style views) is to make it immediately obvious what requires attention, without overwhelming your retina with lots of colour or distracting animations or irrelevant page content. So if you have to scan everything to see where to investigate further, we’ll definitely have failed. Keeping things clean and simple is our mission.

    ‘Education value’ was something we tried to factor in to SQL Response 1, particularly with the recommendations and accompanying text. We haven’t quite got there yet, but we do want to incorporate some domain-based user assistance into Response 2.

    The concept of customisable visuals is a great suggestion…. Response 2 is being designed around the principle of customization (of data, rather than display), and this would be the logical next step. Clearly, however, this sort of configuration is not our priority while we build Response, but it’s an issue I’ll raise with the designer and developers, and we’ll see what happens.

    Many thanks for your valuable input.

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