In the previous posts we looked at the first step of the design process – identifying the target audience of your BI application. Once this stage has been completed, it is time to move onto the second step – choosing patterns. Basically, this means that once you have figured out who is going to be using your dashboard, and what they are going to be using it for, you must pick a layout and overall design.
Again, depending on your particular role in the design team, step 2 of the design process will affect your work at different stages. Once more, we will look at the following possible development roles:
- Customer Service
- Product Development
- Product Management
- If you are involved with customer service, you will already be working with existing users of the BI applications. Therefore the only time a new design pattern will affect your daily work is if one is applied to an existing product. You must then advise all existing users on the changes to the product and provide them with support as they become accustomed to the changes.
- If you are employed in product development, the choice of design pattern will impact greatly upon your work. You must ensure that you are fully familiar with the functionality and end user requirements of the BI application before you implement and design patterns. It is only through a complete understanding of the features and usage of the end product that you can choose a suitable and effective design layout.
- As in the case of product developers, those in product management must consider the end user requirements of the product before deciding on design patterns. This is very important for those who are supervising the development of a completely new product. However this must also be considered when altering the design pattern of an existing product. Ultimately, the design pattern must be chosen before and technical or functional design takes place.