I have a dashboard where I want to highlight-

A. Total data that the user has uploaded on our system and the amount of matches against that data in our database.
B. The amount of difference in matches if feature "X" is turned on.

What I need to convey is that out of say, 200K items that the user has uploaded, 50K matched our database. And if the user activates feature X, the matches would increase to 81K.

The following ideas are what I have come up with-

enter image description here 1. Eg- out of the 200K items that the user has uploaded, 50K matched our database (which is made up of 30K s1 and 20K s2). However if feature X is activated, the matches would increase to 81K.

enter image description here 2. Attempt at a more visual representation of the same & highlighting the difference

This has proved to be very tricky to convey effectively. Are there any examples of such workflows which wouldn't confuse the user?

  • What are you expect it will look like after X is activated?
    – Serg
    Apr 1, 2019 at 13:57
  • Is your main concern that you would confuse the user as to the current state if you emphasize the predicted state with feature 'x'? Are there any consequence to the user for thinking more has been detected, even though the feature is not yet activated?
    – Mike M
    Apr 1, 2019 at 15:32
  • Also, do you expose any functionality to Activate feature 'x' in the UI? Is it easy to do, or a function done elsewhere? Wondering if there's a path to completion for the user...
    – Mike M
    Apr 1, 2019 at 21:04
  • @MikeM Yes, I feel like the representation could be confusing to users. If the user is under the impression that more matches have been detected even though the feature is not yet activated, they would at some later point, stop trusting the system as they wouldn't get the results they'd be expecting. Also, the user gets the option to activate feature X when they initially upload data. Here's a workflow example- User uploads data -> Does not activate 'X' -> Sees matches in dashboard -> Isn't happy and wants more reach -> Goes to uploaded data settings -> Activates X -> Sees the diff X makes. Apr 2, 2019 at 6:26

1 Answer 1


A dashboard displays the state of the world (current metrics) at a glance. Make sure they don't confuse projected potential benefits with current realities.

I'm not sure I understand the context, but it seems like you're trying to balance:

what is vs. what could be (if you adopt / pay for a feature). That is different than 'old' vs 'new'.

While feature adoption is vital, the concern is that users incorrectly interpret current states. This could lead to loss of trust in the dashboard, which is often a crucial view.

Dashboards impart assurance ('I can relax') or alarm ('put out that fire'), based on what's interpreted by the user.

Try progressive disclosure to tease the benefit.

In this example, you can show they'll gain more by activating 'Supermatch', but it's shown as a percentage increase, so as not to confuse them.

I.e., if it says '80k' they may be uncertain if it's 80k more, or 80k total. Or, 'great! I know have 80k matched!', and have a false sense of current realities.

Using a percentage tells them there's a benefit, and they can click show to see a detailed comparison.

enter image description here

Once revealed, display a clear comparison between current and potential.

Once the user has opened the comparison, you can use color, position and other graphic indicators to make sure they understand what they'll get.

I've tried to use color and position to differentiate what is (the red that matches your icon), and what could be (the blue for Supermatch), and if it's unclear, you can add a legend:

enter image description here

  • Thanks, this is very helpful! I'll try this out. Also, is there a certain term for such designs? or perhaps examples of applications that have similar designs of feature upselling? Apr 2, 2019 at 6:37
  • @AshwinNepal I don't know of a specific term for this, but the principle I referred to is Progressive disclosure, but as a marketing technique where you tease out the details, there might be a better term.
    – Mike M
    Apr 2, 2019 at 13:16

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