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Posts tagged ‘Tracking’

How to Design Web Dashboards That Communicate Actionable Insights

As a web app developer or designer, you have probably played around with the idea of building a web dashboard. Dashboards on modern websites can be helpful tools allowing anyone to take away insights at a glance. Companies that get the right data, ask the right questions and display data in the right way stand out from other web apps.

But sometimes dashboards are only designed as charts for the sake of charts. Recently, Twitter announced they were planning on introducing an analytics platform to help uncover insights in social media campaigns. The tool’s design looks outstanding; overlapping line graphs showing clicks against bar charts showing tweets, plotted out by hour.

Just don’t let the aesthetics fool you. A social media marketer would not be able to glance at the charts and determine how to improve their campaigns with any amount of certainty. This analytics dashboard leans closer to eye candy.

When building a dashboard, remember one thing: All dashboards should communicate information that users will be able to act upon.

The intent behind this post is not to put a spotlight on Twitter. There’s a lot of potential for a Twitter-owned analytics platform.  Instead, put the spotlight on your own web apps.

Take this same perspective we used with Twitter’s dashboard and use it on your own. What kind of implications would users be able to learn from your dashboards? If a chart is strictly showing data points, it’s likely not valuable to a user. Kill those charts. Show your users something they would be able to react to.

For those seeking inspiration, here are a few examples of sites using charts and dashboards well.

Mint.com

Instead of just charting your total assets against your total debt, Mint.com shows how your net worth changes over time.

 

Adobe Business Catalyst

Business Catalyst gives users a snapshot of their businesses’ health, beyond the latest metrics or sales.

 

Facebook Ads

Facebook estimates your campaigns’ reach, which uses marketers own words to indicate campaign performance.

 

Google Analytics

The mother of all web dashboards does not disappoint. Google Analytics works fine when web owners install a tracking code, but the real power is unlocked once businesses begin tracking revenue and conversion data. Suddenly, web design decisions can be motivated by previous sales.

 

Crowdbooster

We wrote about Crowdbooster last year because of the value their dashboards bring to people on Twitter. Crowdbooster helps marketers understand what’s working with their social media campaigns or, more importantly, what’s not working.

Lucky Orange: Real Time Visitor Tracking


Lucky Orange provides real time analytics for exactly how your visitors are using your website. The service doesn’t replace your existing web tracking analytics. Instead, Lucky Orange offers better insight into how your users use your website.

Once you embed the Javascript code, press CTRL + SHIFT + 1 on your keyboard to launch the tool and begin the setup process. Your dashboard gives a live count of the number of people browsing your pages. The global map pinpoints their location, while lists show popular pages, entry keywords and referral sources.

Lucky Orange is broken into tabs. The Visitors tab gives the basic details like how the user found your site and their current page. But you also have the surprising “Spy On” option, which records how your users move about your site. These sessions can be saved and archived for later viewings. The Recordings tab houses the videos. Use them to assess your site’s usability.

We saw real business value through their third feature; one-to-one chat support. For any visitor, you have the option to spring open a chat window and speak to them live. Sales teams will jump at this capability, giving them the instant opportunity to qualify leads the moment people express interest.

We were amazed to see Lucky Orange’s price point. They have one plan, and it’s offered at $7 per month. For that cost, any small business owner can afford the service. If the low price isn’t enough to get you to sign-up, then both the live demo and free trial can change your mind.