Image 1: Information Dashboard Design by Stephan Few
But what about "the why"?
Buyers can have multiple reasons for buying a product. As a designer you need to establish not just what the product must do but what buyer needs the product must satisfy. After all different needs will give different design priorities. So start by talking to all the stakeholders involved in the design of the product. Find out from this value network exactly which problem(s) the product must solve. Move beyond the technical specifications for the digital product to find out the true value that the product must bring. When you know the buyer needs, you can establish the buyer values. And only when you know the buyer values, can you design a product that truly meets your buyer’s needs.
Let’s revisit that logistics dashboard product. Let’s look at five possible buyer values and which questions you should ask to match the design priorities to these needs.
Buyer value 1: Improving the logistical flows in the company
In this design the data shown on the dashboard should be primed for analysis and deeper investigation. The dashboard may not be able to show the results of the investigation but could be used to indicate improvable areas.
Questions to ask the buyer:
- How would a user perform the actual investigation?
- Will the user do the investigation in your product?
- Will they need to export the data to another tool?