What is a Wallboard?
Wallboards are a unique and powerful way to visually share imperative data about the performance of the contact centre team. They present data-based intelligence using visualisation techniques that display relevant, actionable data as well as track stats and key performance indicators (KPIs).
Modern web design has moved on in recent years, finding the balance between appealing interfaces and user-friendly experiences. The same balance should be found when visualising data on Wallboards. Effective communication is the underlying principle of every successful Wallboard design. Designed correctly a Wallboard increases productivity for all users.
In this article, we outline strategic tips as well as the fundamental principles that lie at the heart of every successful Wallboard design, even if it’s designed for mobile and tablets, online browsers or large TV screens.
1. Start with agents, not the data.
Start by thinking of the needs of your audience when determining which metrics to include. By starting with agents you can establish what the most important information is. You can find out what the objectives of the supervisors are and the sorts of questions they’re trying to answer. By finding out who the audience of a Wallboard would be, what makes them tick and what their needs and requirements are, you can really create effective Wallboards. A good Wallboard is able to help its users comprehend and analyse, as well as present key insights.
2. Know your key performance indicators (KPIs)
Select and present the most important metrics only. Every good Wallboard is built around just a few key performance indicators that have been carefully selected. A business Wallboard that highlights these KPIs in an organised, easy-to-digest way will help keep everyone on track. This is the key to creating a Wallboard that your agents love to interact with. For more information on how to choose the right KPIs, take a look at our blog: https://www.geomant.com/2018/11/28/call-centre-performance-communicating-metrics-that-matter/
3. The power of iconography
According to Colin Ware in “Visual Thinking for Design” the average human attention span is only 8 seconds, and our brain processes visual images 60,000 times faster than text.
With this in mind, you should use pictograms and illustrations when it makes sense, to support a great agent experience. Icons should be clear, minimalist, understandable, cause the right associations and it’s best to create it in one style. It’s a very effective and simple way to quickly guide the agents and also a great way to spice up the over visual design of the Wallboard.
4. Play with fonts
It’s important to understand which font best suits a particular situation, as font plays an essential role in data visualisation. While designing a Wallboard, it’s advisable to use not more than two font styles for a cleaner design. Also, the style of the font and its size are equally important when it comes to agent experience. You can do this by putting the most important insights in the largest font and probably in a distinctive colour, and put the not-so-important information in a smaller font size.
5. Colours after functionality
Colours matter a lot when visualising information and it’s a great way to help agents analyse and interpret the data on Wallboards. Colours also can attract the agent’s attention, so use colours to alert and notify agents of tasks, activities, features or even if a value drops down. Green is a great indicator that everything is okay, while orange and red can be used to indicate a small or serious problem. This can be very useful when designing Wallboards, but only when you use these colours in the correct way.
6. Define the layout & group the data logically
If your Wallboard is visually organised, agents will easily find the information they need. Poor layout forces agents to think more before they grasp the point, and nobody likes to look for data in a jungle of charts and numbers. Grids help you to achieve effective alignment and consistency but also can contribute to better text readability. Start to create a basic structure, a skeleton for your design and set up a good page structure that’s clean and organised. This is crucial for Wallboard design as you will need to organise a ton of information in a seamless way.
7. Add white space
White space, is the area between elements in a design composition, the space between images, columns, graphics that are used to maximise the user experience and deliver a clear message. According to research by Human Factor International, good use of white space increases comprehension by almost 20%. In cases where the white space is not balanced, the copy will be hard to read. White space can increase content legibility by separating blocks of information, which adds up to a better overall user experience and gives direction and emphasis to what’s most important on the Wallboard.
8. The 5–second rule
When designing a Wallboard, try to follow the five-second rule – this is the amount of time agents should need to find the information they’re looking for upon examining the Wallboards. The most important metrics that are most frequently needed for the Wallboard user during the workday, should immediately ‘pop’ from the screen.
9. Pick the right charts.
Interrogate lists and tables and make sure they are interactive and data is aligned correctly. Each chart type is best for demonstrating and showing certain data sources. Picking the right visuals to represent the data is very important too. Here are examples of some data visualisation techniques that are commonly used on Wallboards:
Line charts format is common and familiar to most people, so they can easily be analysed at a glance. They are compact, clear and precise.
If you want to quickly compare items in the same category choose bar charts, for example page views by country. Again, such charts are easy to understand, clear and compact.
Pie charts can be instantly scanned and agents will notice the biggest slice immediately, there can be a problem in terms of scale resulting in the smallest slices being so small that they cannot even be displayed though, so watch out for this.
10. Don’t put all information on the same page
Don’t create a one-size-fits-all Wallboard, cramming all the information into the same page. Different people in the company ask for different data to be displayed and soon the Wallboard becomes hard to read and full of meaningless non-related information. When this happens, the Wallboard is no longer useful. Think about your audience as a group of individuals who have different needs – sales managers don’t need to see the same data as marketing specialists or the HR department. The most effectively designed Wallboards target a single type of user and just display data specific information to that team.
To conclude, every Wallboard is different and has its own goals, requirements, and limitations. By following fundamental principles and the simple steps explained above, your Wallboard will be well designed and only contain relevant data that will generate the results that you need. Choosing the right visualisation is key to making sure your agents understand what they’re looking at, but that’s not all you should consider. Stay tuned…