I'm currently building and Dashboard system for a factory and there is a control panel to control all the displays in the factory and to decide which detail(KPI type) to be displayed. Following is the wire frame design of the control panel

Control Panel Image

  1. The two main functions in the control panel

  2. The buttons to on/off each KPI in the display

  3. Username

  4. Extender(each production have 7 sub displays and those can be viewed by opening the extender)

enter image description here

I'm not happy with the current layout. When the extender is opened we display too much information on the panel. And I'm wondering how to improve user experience in control panel. Is there some other representation I could use to improve?

  • We can't just give you general feedback - this is a Question and Answer site, not a critique service - what specifically are you concerned with? We can only help with specific User Experience questions. Can you edit your question to make it more answerable?
    – JonW
    Commented Apr 8, 2013 at 6:16
  • @JonW Question edited..hope now its more answerable.
    – ncw
    Commented Apr 8, 2013 at 6:29
  • 2
    This is still too localised and amounts to feedback on your design. However my short advice is to skip the on/off switches and use checkboxes instead.
    – JohnGB
    Commented Apr 8, 2013 at 8:39
  • My initial thought was whether to make all the kpi options as tabs to remove all that clutter, although it doesnt initially solve the module expander issue. A solution could also depend on how this dashboard is used - for example, how regularly would a user typically alter all displays and kpi's? Do they need it to be all so quickly accessible? What you have is very logical for quickly working through all the options. Hiding functionality away may make it less intuitive depending on the usage if that makes sense.
    – TheSaint
    Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 22:18

3 Answers 3


When I design dashboards, the first thing I try to ask myself is whether the information can provide me with a way to make some decision. If you still need to do a lot of analysis and calculation after looking at the information, then the first step is to look at how to make the information easier to interpret. The fact that you seem to have so many items and categories suggests to me that something needs to be summarized or grouped together better, because right now this is having an impact on your design, and ultimately on how the user will be able to understand the information.

  • well this is the control panel of the dashboard. main dashboards which shows KPI charts are very clear and im trying to make the control panel is also up to that because e of that im searching a way to show the controls in a more clear way
    – ncw
    Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 4:28
  • Can you provide a screenshot of what the dashboard looks like? If you have been able to organize the main dashboard cleanly, then I imagine it would be a good way to set up or lay out the control panel.
    – Michael Lai
    Commented Jul 11, 2013 at 23:43

My recommendation would be to create different pages for the different displays.

This will reduce information on each page and make it faster for users to find things and complete tasks.

The second design highlights items that are 'on' in contrast to items that are off. The page may require scrolling but this is acceptable to users as long as they are aware that there is more content 'below the fold'. This option is better than trying to fit everything on the page at once.

I've assumed that modules are only available if the KPI is 'on'.

Don't am for 'reducing clicks' as many studies have shown that reducing clicks does not increase user success or satisfaction (UIE studies).


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups


download bmml source

  • Thanks you for the feedback..well modules are available whether the process is on or off. process is like a combination of all the module data. your second wire frame is interesting, but i have 27 modules for each KPI so im wondering how that will look
    – ncw
    Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 4:23

If the decision for enabling or disabling has to be made for each KPI and for each display individually, then whether you like or not, you will end up with such a matrix. In this case, it is ok to display all options at once, because this supports the human pattern recognition ability. What do I mean by this?

I think the user is likely to have some "pattern" in mind. For example:

I want to enable KPI3 in all displays

I want to enable KPI1 - KPI4 in production display 2

Maybe some KPIs have a similar meaning and therefore are likely to be disabled/enabled together...

So what you can do is to enhance the application of such patterns. Possible measures are:

  • add the possibility to select an arbitrary group of items and disable/enable them at once
  • add the possibility to select a connected group of items and disable/enable them at once
  • add the possibility to enable/disable a whole line (a whole production display)
  • add the possibility to enable/disable a whole column at once

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