Design Idea #1 : Application Usability in Mobile Devices
These days, dashboards and applications are being used more on mobile devices than on desktop modes. With tools like Design Studio, you have the power to leverage both desktops and tablets as delivery device of choice. But with this flexibility comes a trade-off, as a design optimized for one type of device is usually not optimized for the other. For now, we’ll review a design that breaks the monotony of traditional dashboards and delivers something that is highly usable on tablets.
Take a look at the following Gas Utility KPI dashboard that was built using SAP Dashboards (Xcelsius) before the tool supported mobile compatibility.
A sample dashboard built using SAP Dashboards / Xcelsius
The above design on the mobile interface does not score high on usability.
We often hold tablets using both hands – freeing up the thumbs in the process. Now wouldn’t it be cool just to use the thumbs for selection in this case? How about the following design?
Sample dashboard migrated to SAP Design Studio on iPad
It was a delight to experience this layout in action. One feedback from an end-user was that this felt like operating a “joystick”, and something that is natural for the device. Note that this is only one design option, and there are other mobile-optimized designs that you must still consider. For example, if you expect the user to perform drilldowns using charts more often than filter content using selectors, your layout may need to change.
For enterprises looking at driving executive adoption of BI, such design principles and usability best practices hold the key for long-term success. As the initial excitement fades and as mobile dashboards and applications become mainstream, things would boil down (as they have always been) to usability, intuitive design and performance. When that happens, would your dashboards have withstood the test of time successfully?
Additional tabs from the SAP Design Studio application are shown below
Note: The Dashboard was one of the first we created on Design Studio, it was created with Design Studio 1.1 SP2