enhancing visual analytics for businesses
Report Samples are a collection of visual analytic dashboards and reports created as examples to showcase the capabilities of IBM Business Analytics software. Individuals such as business owners can then download the templates to use.
For my internship as a visual and user experience designer part of a new release, I lead the art direction by conceptualizing new dashboard and report interfaces to visualize data on intelligence and performance management tools.
How might we modify data visualization reports appealing to use, using the original tech stack?
A modern look and feel with a focus in improving readability and accessibility was applied to a new set of dashboard and report sample interfaces to support a revised product release.
Principles of Design were better applied to present distinctive content. Methods such as space and lines were used to break out sections, while cards were used to bound relevant information or visualizations together.
More visual elements.
With the intent to demonstrate visual and customization capabilities when using IBM software (IBM Report Samples and Cognos Workspace) to generate dashboards and reports, more visual assets were embedded into the examples. This included custom icons, illustrations, and images to provide a more friendly and modernized look and feel to the interface.
The company and products are known to provide solutions to large enterprise corporations with interfaces that look outdated. Fortunately, at the time that this project happened, IBM was developing a unified design language across the company. And so, this allowed an opportunity to redesign samples that aligns with the guidelines, as well as provide a modern look and feel.
Being new to the analytics and data visualization industry, I first took a deep dive by reading up information to familiarize myself. Next, I conducted competitive analysis to see how layouts can be done for dashboards and reports to remix ideas and make better versions. I also had 1 on 1 sessions with each team member to learn more about the product and industry standards.
After getting a general understanding, I then conducted a heuristic evaluation and found the following issues to improve on:
1. Existing samples have ill-defined sections.
2. Contents were not strategically placed.
3. Visual space made visualizations difficult to read.
In learning about my intended deliverables, I began executing ideas via sketches to show the team and get feedback. Some ideas did not make it through as the colours and background patterns used do not pass accessibility. After a few iterations, elements that were agreed upon. I then turned those ideas into mockups to be used as a guide for implementation.
After a few iterations, I turned the elements that were agreed upon into mockups to be used as a guide for implementation. The templates are directly built using IBM products as customers simply need to download the file with the layout setting in place to make customizations.
1. The project was successfully launched to a large group of users in the public community of IBM Analytics Zone for them to learn how to use IBM analytic products and to download templates for their visualizations.
2. Positive feedback was received by upper management with the motivation to push the boundaries of turning dashboard and report samples into interactive web infographics.