“It’s really hard to manage an online life” – Geoff Ralston

A quick-reference, high level display of information. Dashboards are often used by Executives to see their top-line business metrics. Info in a dash board may often be reduced to neutral/standard terms, such as red-light green-light instead of the actual metric itself.
I don’t think the “dashboard” name should necessarily be used customer-facing, but it’s a useful internal tool to categorize functionality and info-type.

“Dashboard” was one of the concepts presented to us in the ethnographic research. (It was a pyramid diagram (reproduced as a outline here):

  • Ads/ Deals
    • Popular Interests
    • Targeted + Local
  • Programming
    • News
    • Local News
    • Popular Interests
  • Dashboard
    • “Habit Center”
    • Alerts
    • Notifications
    • Recommendations
  • Y!Search *AND* Y!Portal
    • Two ways to find information
    • Find & Explore

Information that could be on a Yahoo dashboard.

  • Online Status
    • Instead of just prompting users to Log On, we should always display the online status on the browser/user. At a absolute minimum, this provides a continual reason to log in: if you don’t, you’ll be seen as “logged out”. Just changing this icon is more of a reason to log in that many users current comprehend.
    • By displaying their status, we may introduce users the continual and beneficial aspects of the Network.
  • PIM Status
    • Next upcoming Task
    • Next upcoming Appointment
    • Unread/New Message Count/Notification
    • Newest Contact
    • Recently “now online” buddy
    • Upcoming birthdays
    • New shared photos received
    • etc
  • Alerts / Watches
  • Community Status
    • # New comments on your blog
    • # New viewers of your photos
    • # New people in your Mingle
    • New reply’s to your message board posts
    • New singles in your area
    • New restaurant opening in your zip code
    • etc
  • Buzz Movers
    • Top Books
    • Top News Stories
    • Most Emailed Stories
    • Most emailed photos
    • Maybe the average news headline gets 2% click thru — it’s be interesting to set up an alert so I could be notified when the click thru rate was above normal. (Alert me when twice and much traffic as normal is going somewhere/anywhere.
    • etc

How is a Dashboard different from “My [Personalized] Content”?

I think *Dashboard* and *Personalized* are different. (Ask Reid: I discussed this with him on Monday). In brief I view “Dashboard” as a Tool and “Personalized” as Content. What I mean is that Dashboard is only pointers and indicators, while the real content lives elsewhere. In a small “dashboard” [that may follow me across the network] I don’t need the Subject or Sender of my newly received email, I just need an indication that *any* new mail exists.

It’s possible to think of ALL information/experiences on the network as being personalized. For example, the 2nd page I see in news is personalized based on which link I check. (In a paper newspaper, the 2nd page is always the same for everybody!). The dashboard on the other hand, is the home of meta information the exists solely for me. That my dashboard is notifying me that a new Alert has been received is Only useful/pertinent to me.

If my dashboard tells me that a new story matching my previously setup Alert has been published, that Alert is personal to me even if the story itself is pertinent to many.

I think it’s also worth remembering that term “Habit Center” that came out of Ethnography. What online habits / habitual actions / very-common actions exist that could be gathered together on the homepage?