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We have an app that works in two separate pages. It involves sharing content and presenting information with other users. The secondary, optional (but highly recommended) page is called a dashboard. From this there are metrics which show user connection status, and whether they have submitted requests for certain things, etc. Visually, it presents a quick way to see the status of all users.

So far, it's clearly a dashboard. However, from this dashboard there is also the option to do actions like chat, edit, assign groups, etc. This seems to be going beyond a typical dashboard's remit of presenting data. We don't want to confuse users or make them miss features by limiting the second page to only a 'dashboard'.

So my questions are:

  1. is there a better name for this UI/UX element than 'Dashboard'?
  2. am I misguided in thinking a dashboard is just for viewing information, not carrying out actions/tasks?

Any thoughts on this would be very appreciated. Redesigning the app to separate data visualization features from action features is not possible.

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  • If you want the idea of something bigger you could use 'Control Room'. upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3b/…
    – PhillipW
    Jun 16 at 19:30
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    Dashboards usually have controls that allow one to perform actions. There is no reason to consider them as purely passive displays. I don't like the currently popular term "information radiator" though, I feel like I might get burnt if I get too close... I have created several applications that work exactly as you described. Jun 16 at 22:15
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From a dictionary definition of dashboard:

the panel facing the driver of a vehicle or the pilot of an aircraft, containing instruments and controls.

Using this as a jumping-off point, it would be perfectly safe to assume that controls to perform actions could happily be presented alongside data in a dashboard. In fact, if you remove the controls, you could argue you have something which more closely resembles a report.

If you're using a dashboard as a one-stop shop to perform entire tasks through tiles which mode switch into interactive lists/forms etc you could argue that you're verging on creating a SPA (single-page-app) (technical definition aside).

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    And let's remember where the word 'dashboard' originated: a board at the front of a horse-drawn cart or sleigh that dirt, rocks and horse manure would dash against. Jun 16 at 21:30
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  1. It's true that a typical dashboard is likely used to presenting data, status, etc, which means that user behaviour in such places is more "browsing". From this point of view, the name "dashboard" doesn't fit your actual scene.

  2. However, when users look at data/status, some related operations are necessary, and they are also reasonable needs in the current scene while seeing valuable information. So you can regard it as a dashboard with more complete features.

  3. And here is my suggestion: Whether it can be directly renamed as "Users" or “Community”, “My Group”, “Chats”, etc? -- Choose the core user behaviour in this page to name it. Of course, it depends on the attributes of your platform/product, so that the user can intuitively feel what is in it and know that they can do actions like chat , edit, assign groups, instead of just browsing data in a traditional dashboard.

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