Designing BI applications and user expectations - 10 tips



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10 traps to avoid

Trap 1 – Ignoring the end user

Focusing on the back-end and spending too little time on the end-user interface is not a good solution. It will result in a technically perfect application, but one that no one will actually use.

Trap 2 – Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets – their popularity among experienced developers and users of Business Intelligence applications may not currently translate into the success of a newly developed web application.

Trap 3 – Simplicity is not everything

Tremendous formatting capabilities and clear, intuitive navigation are not the only factors that make decision-making easier for users, remember.

Trap 4 – Simplicity does not guarantee the popularity of an app

The most important thing is to prepare an app that will engage decision-makers, not just be simple and fun to use.

Trap 5 – Failing to anticipate change and the need for app development

Assuming that the end user knows exactly what they need can be dangerous. During the design phase of an application, users determine what reports they need and how they would like to access them. Then, usually after about six months of use, few will remain satisfied with the functioning of the application. Modifications and extensions will therefore be necessary and should be planned for from the outset.

Trap 6 – Multiple users, single data view

It is obvious that a single data view will not suit all users. You need to segment accordingly and present each type of user with dedicated information.

Trap 7 – Where does this report go?

Do not assume that users remember reports by name. Most people are visual learners and therefore remember reports and analyses visually. It is a good idea to provide a menu where images of reports can be found.

Trap 8 – Three clicks and out of the application

It should also not be assumed that users are prepared to click a huge number of buttons, wading through countless options to find the report or information they are interested in. Usually, an experienced user will stop using the app after a few attempts. It is worth adopting the three-click rule – all functions should be available with a maximum of three interactions with the application.

Trap 9 – Too technical

It is not worth giving IT the highest priority. Putting the application in a place that users will use and that brings value is that priority.

Trap 10 – Boring and excessive

It is not advisable to use charts and indicators excessively. Excessive use of them will not help the user become more familiar with the application, nor will it increase user engagement with the application itself. To deal with the problem, it is worth using analytical tools such as the 360-degree viewer or 3D-City.