I am working on designing dashboard screens for a directory of tiny house enthusiasts(the site will also have social features like making friends, following people etc.)

Here's a screen that I designed - https://i.stack.imgur.com/ofZ0z.jpg

There are items on the left panel and once someone selects an item, it shows the sub-items on the main screen.

Is there any usability study that points out what pattern works for dashboard menus (like having sub-items also on the left panel or showing it on the main screen itself)?

  • please post images inline, to prevent link decay, and make the question more useful in the future.
    – Mike M
    May 19, 2020 at 14:46
  • Have you searched for any usability studies on dashboards? What search terms have you used? Have you tried searching scholar.google.com ? Trying to find usability studies on distinct user interface elements can be hard because UIs are usually tested as whole. May 20, 2020 at 5:06

1 Answer 1


It sounds like you have a distinct user group that you'd be working with. At least assuming your site would primarily be for the tiny house enthusiasts themselves and other would be your secondary user group.

Finding existing studies should never be a substitute for conducting your own user testing. Especially when you're working on a tool for a distinct user group. A study on dashboard menus with a university-aged user group would have no relevance for a site designed for teachers.

Are you using XD? Do you have the time or capacity to setup a prototype and testing session?

  • 1
    Dylan, thanks for commenting. My intention was never to skip/substitute testing with existing studies. The idea to know about a study was to use it as a starting point to form some hypothesis and do testing. Yes we will be creating prototypes to undertake testing. The whole point of asking a question was to see if a site exists for instance like baymard institute which publishes studies (specific to ecommerce ux), which act as a good starting point. May 19, 2020 at 18:45
  • 1
    Agreed best practices are always a good starting point. I would have added some specific feedback to my answer but I couldn't anticipate much I what I would expect from other screens/navigation from your image. There are a few Dashboard Best Practice articles kicking around but I'd imagine any studies to be very specific to use cases.
    – It's Dylan
    May 19, 2020 at 19:07

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