By Jack Crawford, b.world Engineer
Hi! I’m Jack and this is b.woah!, where I talk about the design and development process for b.world! Projects have been at the core of b.world from the beginning. Even as some sections of the platform have gotten the sidebar treatment, enabling easier access to your team’s Stories, Tasks, and Whiteboards, the focus has been on the project-first approach.
That begins to change with Results, the first feature we’ve designed that works across projects instead of within them. A Result is an aggregation of multiple indicators, bundled together to provide new windows into the performance and impact of your organization.
There are two sorts of Results:
Project Element Results are generated from iterations of Project Element Indicators. These indicators are created in the Project Elements tab and are available for inclusion in any of your projects. Tracking a standard metric across a half-dozen projects? Now that data is rolled up automatically, ready and waiting under Team Results. Note: only iterations whose details have not been changed from their default settings will roll up, to ensure uniform data aggregation!
Custom Results are exactly what they sound like: you can group any two or more indicators from across projects, as long as they use the same data type. These can be kept personal or shared with your team!
When we started designing the Results page, we knew that most analytics solutions trade ease of use for complex customization, and that we didn’t want to go down such a well-worn path.
Instead, we began to refer to what we called the “Melinda” use case:
If Melinda French Gates has a keynote at the United Nations on gender equality, she needs the big number first, i.e., “estimated female participation in the global workforce is at 47%” and then she needs a visual breakdown of the data supporting that big number (See an example here). Melinda, if you’re reading this, hi!
From there, we knew the twin pillars of Results would be big numbers and their corresponding graphical breakdowns. Here’s the first sketch I produced, borrowing a screenshot from Indicator charts:
The vision stayed more or less intact from the original layout, though we tinkered with exactly how much detail to provide on the first screen. It was a balancing act, we needed to provide enough content to be useful without overwhelming the user with minutiae.
At the wireframe stage, we considered a table view instead of cards for the indicators, but by the time the design was fleshed out in code, we’d landed on providing a full row for each Indicator including a basic chart of the indicator’s topline data. Here's how it looks!
Within a Result, you can toggle different stats for the breakdown and big numbers and see a simplified view of the contributing indicators below with a direct link to the related projects:
There’s still quite a bit of work to do on Results - adding Insights, chart customization, and aggregating disaggregates are all on our Roadmap, but this first release is a great step towards making b.world results as useful across projects as it is within them!