Design your smart helmet dashboards with success tracking in mind

Screenshot 2017-06-20 11.39.35.png

AR headsets like DAQRI‘s above are clearly going to be very useful in lots of environments.

One of the customary use cases for AR headsets is to bring dashboards to users inside the headset.

This is great, however it is important for dashboard designers to design the experience with the three different types of dashboards in mind:

  • Operational dashboards — focused on raw metrics to monitor what’s happening now (as in a car or plane dashboard)
  • Tactical dashboards — focused on summary metrics to analyse and comparing performance over time
  • Strategic dashboards — monitoring execution of overall goals

It is these first two that are so easily muddled up.

This is because tactical dashboards are often left to the end of the design process and as a result are very poorly designed. Typically you end up with a screen full of unrelated charts and numbers which the user is expected to make sense of.

It would be great if the tactical dashboard design team for a smart helmets took on board the key principles of success tracking (which is personal dashboard design 2.0) rather than ape tired old traditional tactical dashboard design.

By doing so, they will associate Smart Helmets with the growing trend of motivation 3.0 (autonomy, mastery & purpose) as defined by Daniel Pink and so drive self-optimisation and self-management behaviours.

Here are the key differences:

Traditional Tactical Dashboard Design

  • Mandatory — all users must have the dashboard as designed by managers / experience designers
  • Multi-score— users are forced to choose between multiple scores which are not prioritised
  • Real Time — users are expected to behave like robots — always on, always adapting, leading to butterfly-like attention spans.

It is wrong to believe that real time is better when it comes to tactical dashboard design. Human beings need fixed metrics and results to be able to analyse properly. Imagine trying to have a meeting to decide tactics and next steps related to performance results only to have the numbers you are discussing keep changing while you do it!

Success Tracking Dashboard Design

  • Opt-in — users control what dashboards they use and what data they share
  • Single score — designers weight different metrics and combine into a single score, so simplifying the user (player) experience and allowing easy benchmarking
  • Storified — metric changes are wrapped up into fixed time periods and presented as human accessible stories (“personal best this week”, “hey you passed Phil last week on the leaderboard”) etc.
  • Positive — instinctively we want to increase numbers, so track the stuff we want more of
  • No rewards — it should go without saying but any additional incentives or prizes will break the motivational model. (incentives turn things into work)

AR headsets are an exciting development — let’s hope the dashboards inside them keep up with modern best practice too.

This article originally appeared as a medium post.

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