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jannepyykko

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Posts: 39
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi Stephen,

My company asked me to arrange one-day visualization workshops (based on your books, of course), so I've collected material for that. While gathering, I noticed a potential terminology shortage in the book Information Dashboard Design that should be sorted out as clearly as possible.

In page 171, "Design for Use as a Launch Pad", it says... "The most common types of dashboard interaction are: Drilling down into the details / Slicing the data to narrow the field of focus".

And... "Whichever of these you intend, when your dashboard serves as a launch pad to additional, complementary information, be sure to keep the following principes in mind: Allow the viewer to initiate the launch by clicking the data itself / Use consistent launch actions".

All of this makes complete sense. However, there is no name for the screen or display that appears after you have clicked the data in the dashboard, which lets you explore the additional, complementary information.

In my material, I use a term "analytical screen", as these screens contain more complex functionality than the dashboard, such as drilling down, menu selections, scatter graphs + also possibly tabs, buttons, and scroll bars to fragment the data into separate screens and exceeding the boundaries of a single screen, if necessary (which is a no-no in a dashboard).

Should I rather use some other term?

Regards,
-Janne

PS. Included two slides.

Attached Images
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Name: Dashboard_slide_2_small.jpg, Views: 206, Size: 39.00 KB



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-- Mr. Janne Pyykkö, Espoo, Finland, Europe

jlbriggs

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Posts: 200
Reply with quote  #2 
IMO, such drill down screens don't really require a separate term - it's still the dashboard, just a subset of it.

I generally refer to them simply as detail screens when they must be referred to on their own.
Jeff

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Posts: 53
Reply with quote  #3 
I often speak in terms of "views," which neatly sidesteps the issue of whether the revealed detail occupies its own screen.

Jeff
jannepyykko

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Posts: 39
Reply with quote  #4 
My point is, giving this screen a name of its own makes it easier to describe what that screen can contain (see the example slides). Jlbriggs, you used the term drill down screen, but I'm not totally happy with that. That screen can provide many exploration methods, not only drill down, though drilling down is essential.

I have a feeling this is an important term, so we should standardize it!

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-- Mr. Janne Pyykkö, Espoo, Finland, Europe
jlbriggs

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Posts: 200
Reply with quote  #5 
@jannepyyko - I refer to them as 'detail screens' in my daily usage. 
You start with an over view on the dashboard, you drill down to a more detailed view of the specific metric or group of metrics.

IMO, calling them analytical screens is pretty vague.  The dashboard is an analytic screen, the report screen is an analytic screen, etc.

Overall I think it's just a matter of personal taste and semantics.  'Detail screen' or 'detail view' satisfies my need to describe them.  :)

@jeff - yes, it's a good point that such screens don't need to be a separate screen also.  I often put such detail views in ajax-loaded popups or 'tool tip' style as well.
jannepyykko

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Posts: 39
Reply with quote  #6 
I try to include more context to clarify my point.

In the Health Intelligence website (created by an analyst in Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization) there are many dashboards (composed using Tableau), such as this one:
http://healthintelligence.drupalgardens.com/content/fewer-people-dying-more-live-disability
(links to other dashboards on the right)

But wait... are these screens dashboards at all? If they are, they are poorly designed, because:
- A dashboard should fit entirely on a single computer screen, but there are scroll bars on the lower section.
- The data is fragmented into separate screens (3 choices in "Select Indicator" on top-right).
- You should avoid using scatter plots in a dashboard, because that (overload of information) takes too much time.

Nevertheless this kind of screen can be useful for an analyst. So my "solution" is to call it with a different name. The term "detail screen" does not satisfy me, because a data exploration screen can be useful as such, without the master dashboard display.

So, what name should we use for this kind of data exploration / analytical screens?

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-- Mr. Janne Pyykkö, Espoo, Finland, Europe
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