A CRM dashboard should be the hub of your user’s experience. They see this screen every time they log in. For this reason, it’s a great opportunity to consistently deliver value to your users and remind them of what’s great about your product. In this article, we’re reviewing what we did to design an engaging, intuitive dashboard for CRM software.
What Makes a Great Dashboard?
So let’s consider what makes a great dashboard. People use software to get jobs done and achieve a specific result. A good dashboard needs to support them in doing that. To help think about this, there are generally 3 states your users are in when they see your dashboard. Discovery, Creation or Review.
Discovery mode might be when they’re new to a product and they’re onboarding or checking out new features. Creation is when they are actually doing work or performing tasks. The review state might be when they are reviewing statistics, metrics or reports. With that in mind, you can design to satisfy each of these states for your average user.
Dashboard Redesign – AllClients
We recently redesigned a dashboard for AllClients CRM and we’re going to use this project to review the process. On the left is the original dashboard and on the right is our redesign.
What information does the user want to see?
Considering the dashboard as an overview of the account, we want to make sure that it’s a true reflection of the most important features in your software. We want to ensure that it reflects the variety of account activity that is valuable to your user. Additionally, there’s a hierarchy of information since some elements are more important than others.
We pulled out 3 widgets that display what could be considered the most important statistics at the top of this design. Then, we organised the remaining widgets in order of importance.
What actions does the user want to perform?
We know that from the dashboard the user might want to add contacts, create tasks or make appointments. We made sure to provide navigation and functionality that performs these tasks. Therefore each widget has a navigation link through the corresponding screen where they can do more. We also provided a multifunctional create button, allowing the user to do whatever they need, directly from the screen. This can be seen to the right.
What are the user profiles?
An important element is to consider is the user profiles for this dashboard. This particular CRM is for SMEs so you might have a pizza parlour or freelance consultant using it to manage their business. With that in mind, we want to provide the ability to customise the data and widgets on the dashboard. Now as a general rule for software around 10-15% of users actually customise their dashboard. So we design a default suggested dashboard and then enable the user to customise further. AllClients is highly customizable, so we needed to ensure that we could design a wide range of widgets that the user can select from. We also provide a tabbed system for custom dashboards.
In order to design for the Discovery state, we provide designs for notifications and announcements. We always want the dashboard to be a central hub for sharing updates and innovation that’s happening with the product. This helps with adoption and feature activation.
The aesthetic of this dashboard comes back to branding. We always want a product to be consistent with the brand’s look and feel, particularly the website, which is often the starting point for a user session. Our use of colour, typography and layout is chosen carefully to keep with the brand. We also want to ensure a balance between modern, light and clean aesthetics that helps the product stand out when prospects are choosing their CRM.
Summing up, there’s a lot to think about when you’re designing a CRM. We often find the most impactful part of the work is the thinking and wireframing phase. To design a useful, intuitive dashboard, you need to set aside time to strategize, discuss and review the thinking that will lay the foundation for a great product experience. If you do that, your dashboard will be great and you can improve your product, get more users and grow.
Book a no-obligation call to discuss your UI/UX challenges with a SaaS expert. We’ll offer advice on your current situation, provide a steer for your project and see if we’re a good fit to help. Book now here, or visit our contact page to book your consult with a little more guidance.