Car Dashboard

Creating a Dashboard the User Wants to Come Back To

A dashboard is user interface that somewhat resembles a car’s dashboard. It organizes and presents information in way that is clear and straightforward. One example of a dashboard is online banking. When you log into your bank account online, you usually see your account’s, messages or updates on your bank, and other information that pertains to banking.

When creating a dashboard for your eLearning module, the task may seem daunting. A dashboard needs to be welcoming, easy to navigate, and notify the user of any important information. Now, that’s a lot of information on one page! Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself before you start designing, arguably, the most important part of your eLearning module. Once you answer these questions, you can better decide which route is best to present information to your user.

What would most help the user?

Think about your module from a user’s point of view. What would be most useful on the forefront of your eLearning module? How you design your module directly correlates with the user’s experience. You want the user to be able to easily navigate the module, or you might hinder their learning experience. Trust me when I say that user experience means more than you think it does. Check out this post to find out more about user experience!

Do you want the users to be able to collaborate with each other?

Should your user be able to chat with other people? Would it be a helpful resource if they could talk to each other rather than going to you directly with questions? If so, then place a ‘chat room’ of sorts directly on the dashboard. Somewhere they can easily find it. I would even further recommend that you keep it in a sidebar that they can access at any point of your module.

What are they going to do if they have questions?

Now, if users chat with each other and they still haven’t figured out the answer to their question, make sure that you place a phone number/email that they can contact if they are having issues with their module. Place this information someplace that is easily accessible. i would recommend placing it at the footer of your module. So, the information is there at all times, no matter where they are in the module.

Where can YOU get in touch with THEM?

Maybe you have important information to pass onto all of your students. Where can you send a message to them? Where can they send a message back to you? Place a ‘message board’ of sorts directly on the dashboard. If it’s easily accessible; it’s easy for you and easy for them. It’s a win win.

Is this cohesive and easy on the eyes?

Now this one might seem a bit odd when talking about a dashboard, but you want to make that dashboard as welcoming as possible. You want that space to be a place where your users WANT to come back to. If you have bright neon yellow and orange on your dashboard, or anywhere in your module, that’s really harsh on the user’s eyes. Especially if they have to stare at that information for a while. Use colors that work well together and allow your user to easily read the information. For tips on a cohesive color palette, check out this blog post!

Here are a couple of questions that you should ask yourself when you’re building an eLearning module dashboard. Do you have any other questions that you ask yourself when building a dashboard? If you do, we’d love to hear from you. Comment below!

Ashlee is an Intermediate Instructional and Graphic Designer on the Learning and Professional Development team and has a background in Graphic Design and Photography. With over eight years of Photography and Graphic Design experience, Ashlee brings a unique talent and perspective to the team. She joined the Learning & Professional Development team in 2014 as a student worker and now works full time as an Instructional & Graphic Designer. She primarily works with Adobe products and is using her knowledge to help develop exciting new trainings. This opportunity allows Ashlee to reach out to the NAU community and create interactive ways students and staff can learn.

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