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I'm trying to design an overview UI that helps people understand the daily status for a list of items.

Each item is a "job" or automation that runs once on each day. A given day's instance can only run once the previous day's instance has succeeded.

For some additional context, these jobs are user-created. Users can add/delete jobs to start on arbitrary dates.

Users care about at least:

  • For an individual item, what's the latest date that was successful?
  • What is the latest date where all items were successful?

Here is a preliminary design we've been working with. It's essentially a one-week calendar view. We have a date picker above this for navigation above this, not portrayed:

Mockup of current overview table

As you can see, one challenge is that since jobs are independent of each other, any given 5-day window may not be relevant for all jobs.

I would love any suggestions on:

  1. The design of the overview table
  2. Navigation or other controls that help users find relevant info
  • Are jobs going through several stages here? Is there also a view where it's important to know what the overall picture of how many jobs are outstanding overall? – Mike M Oct 31 '19 at 14:17
  • @MikeM the jobs are conceptually just one stage -- users only care if they are "Done" or "Not Yet Done." I don't think it's particularly important to know the # of jobs that are outstanding. However, aside from the 2 use cases I listed in the OP, users might (less frequently) care about job status for a date sometime in the past. – nycb Oct 31 '19 at 15:07
  • ah, so an item might easily be lagging in being 'Done' for a bit more than the 5 days – Mike M Oct 31 '19 at 15:11
  • Yes, it could be lagging for quite a bit farther. It's an edge case but in practice it happens often enough. – nycb Oct 31 '19 at 15:11
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Give them some 'at a glance' metrics, and make visual distinctions for jobs that are lagging behind that are problematic to the business.

Since you may have more jobs than space, give the users some consolidated metrics that they can filter and sort on.

This way they can quickly answer:

  • Which items have not had any progress in completion for over a week?
  • What was the total status of jobs on [[ date ]]?
  • Which items are scheduled (users creating arbitrary dates for jobs?

enter image description here

UPDATE: If you need to know the last complete day, you can put it in the header for important summarized information.

You can also try making this element interactive, where it can jump to the date (if that's important).

enter image description here

| improve this answer | |
  • Hey Mike, thanks for putting this together. This helps to answer the first question (for a given job, what's the latest completion), but doesn't really provide an answer at a glance to the second key question (what is the latest date where all jobs were successful?). One idea I considered was to add some "date navigation" controls, i.e. "jump to X date" where X is some relevant date for a single job or the aggregate list of jobs, but wasn't sure where to put such controls. – nycb Nov 2 '19 at 16:04
  • I also don't think users care too much about a summary (the total number of outstanding/completed jobs doesn't matter much). The query pattern for users is either 1) I want to get the job results for job X on date Y, or 2) I want to get aggregate job results for date Y. These two query patterns correspond to the two use cases I listed in the OP. – nycb Nov 2 '19 at 16:06
  • @nycb I've added in a scorecard header, this way you can just be explicit up front about the last 'successful' date. You can also have a date navigator, either by week, or click for a date picker. You also might want a search field also... – Mike M Nov 2 '19 at 19:56

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