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Ongo — Dashboard Design

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Ongo: Designing a Dashboard for Wellness Professionals

 

CLIENT: Ongo                                       ROLE: Product Designer                                       TOOLS: Figma, InVision

 
 

Company

Ongo is a platform on which instructors can broadcast science-backed video programs to help users achieve their wellness goals, including improving sleep, gaining muscle, and running further.

 
 
 

CHALLENGE & SOLUTION

Ongo is available for private wellness instructors to create content and attract subscribers, but current instructors didn’t didn’t have any way to monitor the data related to their programs and users.  Our team was brought in to design their internal dashboard, starting completely from scratch.

 
 
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USER PAIN POINTS 

We started off by interviewing a variety of wellness instructors, personal trainers, life coaches, and meditation teachers to learn about their current businesses, how they interact with clients, and what challenges they face using platforms such as Ongo.  To help keep the team focused following these interviews, I mocked up a couple of personas so that we could anchor our efforts on clear target users.

 
 
 
 Our user research drove me to create and illustrate these personas

Our user research drove me to create and illustrate these personas

 
 

 
 
I like data snapshots! Right now a good portion of my day is spent looking at a screen.
— Expert Interviewee 3
 
 

 
 

Data visualization 

We split up tasks, and one of the first challenges I tackled was how to convey some key pieces of data: referrals and emotive ratings.  Our wellness instructors were itching to be able to track where their users were coming from, with referrals being a key metric for these private instructors who often grew their base by word of mouth.  Similarly, emotive ratings (how happy/sad/confident/nervous/etc. a user feels) were a key interest area among our instructors, as they didn’t want to simply put videos in front of their users and call it a day - they wanted to understand how users were engaging with their content, what content was working best, and how users felt after each session.

As with most new design efforts, I started by running a thorough competitive analysis on how similar apps and websites display and share such data, but there was no clear-cut answer.

 
 
 
 I sketched out a variety of options to show referral data and emotive rating systems.

I sketched out a variety of options to show referral data and emotive rating systems.

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Stepping back a bit, I decided to start from a theoretical foundation, and was able to dig up Dr. Andrew Abela's useful guide to common data visualizations which I shared with my group. 

 
 
 This diagram by Dr. Andrew Abela was extremely useful as I learned more about when to use different types of graphs.

This diagram by Dr. Andrew Abela was extremely useful as I learned more about when to use different types of graphs.

 I drew this compilation of the dashboard metrics to be dot voted on by the group. I used Dr. Andrew Abela's diagram to help explain my choices.

I drew this compilation of the dashboard metrics to be dot voted on by the group. I used Dr. Andrew Abela's diagram to help explain my choices.

 
 

Looking back on the project now, I see a great benefit from both angles: looking at competitors and starting from the ground up with theory.  Quick comparisons to competitors can often give you a gut-check on what works and what doesn’t, as well as give you fast and simple prototyping options for user tests, while theoretical foundations can give you assurance that the design you are pursuing is thoughtful, intentional, and the best option available.

 
 

 
 

DEMOGRAPHICS

As the project moved on, I led the demographics section of the dashboard, focusing on gender, age, and geographic location.  I found this to be a particularly interesting challenge, since on the one hand, it is easy to think “oh, that’s easy, just throw a couple of bar graphs on the page and the data is there,” but on the other hand, it’s exciting to consider the nuances of balancing easy-to-understand with looks-beautiful-on-the-screen.

I found myself thinking about much more detailed questions before designing this section, including:

  • Would our wellness instructors get more benefit from seeing the trends in their user demographics, or a snapshot of the current mix?

  • How frequently would our users be looking at these graphs, and would that frequency change the level of detail needed?

  • What is the core user need/goal that these graphs are supporting?

  • Are these graphs the best use of the limited real estate on the page?

  • Were these graphs useful in isolation, or do they need other metrics for comparison?

  • How can we best utilize interaction and hover-states to add quick and targeted values?

 
 
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RESULT

Coming from this angle, I nudged the group to return to our initial user research and make sure that the various sections of our dashboard would all align, given that we were dividing up pieces of the pie to contribute.  We didn’t want to end up with a dense stack of 10 bar charts one after another, but we also didn’t want to end up with crazy wacky artistic shapes that were simply indigestible to the typical user.  Similarly, I wanted to make sure that our timelines were aligned in scope, our colors were consistently representing the same groups across graphs, and that dynamic interactions between the various charts were intuitive.

After testing our prototype dashboard several times and implementing changes to make the data more digestible (after all, not everyone is a statistics whiz), we delivered a dashboard for wellness instructors that included easy-to-grasp views of everything from revenue and growth rates to demographics and emotive feedback.

Ongo is currently still developing the next refresh of their product and their team is excited to debut our new dashboard soon.

 
 
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