The hidden powers of a good dashboard

Rinke Huisman

Every learning platform has a main page, which is otherwise known as a dashboard, that displays the user’s latest activities. The goal of a good dashboard is that the user, in this case the employee, spends a lot of time on the learning platform. Users get an overview of what they have learned so far, which encourages them to develop themselves further, and they subconsciously make the most of the subscription costs that the employer pays. This is quite challenging, especially when you have to compete with, for example, leisure activities and household chores.

What does our brain tell us?

A good dashboard therefore keeps a few neurological principles in mind, but before we look at them, here is a quick refresher on why we should be motivated to learn things in the first place:

  • The moments we need new knowledge and skills;
  • The moments we want to deepen or specialise ourselves in a particular topic;
  • The moments we apply something in real life but are not familiar with the precise method of working;
  • The moments something goes wrong or there is a problem;
  • The moments that something is going to change.

Four tips for a powerful dashboard

When the motivated user logs on to the platform, you can show them a powerful dashboard with the following principles:

  1. Remove the least resistance: it is easier for us to get to work when there is only one action needed to get started, instead of two or three. It is important to present the information in a way that the user barely has to search for it, which is what platforms like Netflix and Spotify successfully did. We previously wrote a blog about the workings of an LXP (Learning Experience Platform) and compared it to Netflix’s model. 
  2. Stoplight:  research finds that information becomes 50% more effective when it is presented alongside an image. This is otherwise known as the ‘picture superiority effect.’ There is also a theory called the memory palace, which involves the connection of what you need to remember to images and places in a palace. Besides images, the right use of colour contributes to the message becoming 82% more memorable. You do not want to overwhelm your user with an explosion of colour, but instead highlight contrasts and functionalities more. It is important to make everything as concrete as possible and easy to understand for everyone, kind of like a stoplight. This might seem like an easy task, but a lot of thought goes into it. 
  3. Consistency: use clear-cut language, labels, layouts, etc. that are appealing to the target group. The user is no data analyst, but definitely knows how to shop online or watch their favourite television programme online. Present the data so the user is able to intuitively find their way on the learning platform. 
  4. Acknowledgement: users like to see data on the dashboard that acknowledges their progress and how they are doing (for example assessments and/or rewards). In some cases people choose for a healthy competition, which allows colleagues to get to know each other a bit better (for example presentations or recommendations).

Stimulating growth with Hubper’s dashboard

These are all great neuroscientific insights, but at Hubper we want more than that. The dashboard should not only offer related suggestions, but we prefer the suggestions that help you to be on a next level. Maybe they are connected to your learning goals, ambitions, or levels that you can grow in. Such a dashboard should be aimed at stimulating users to further develop themselves and make their dreams come true. For starters, we have created a beautiful ‘explore’ page for each user, on which you can immediately see what the newest learning activities are, scroll through the relevant themes, or use the search bar to find the right learning activity. Besides that, there are suggestions for popular learning activities, tailored to your department or recommended by your colleagues. This is how we shift to performance support: a learning platform (with a dashboard) that offers the user the right information at the time they need it to do their job.