What a wonderful experience to sit in a comfortable train, sipping a cup of coffee, looking at the scenic landscape passing-by. Except if you are bored. Like someone reading a slowly-starting article.
Breathing heavily, I sat down. I pushed my luggage under the seat and wrote an SMS: I made it! It was a challenge to get to the train station on time that day, so I was quite happy to have caught it.
Having sent my messages and hanged my coat nearby, and still catching my breath, I took off my Kindle and prepared to cool off and read a book.
As an afterthought, I took my phone again and opened the train application to check my tickets, bought months ahead by my colleague. The tickets screen was empty.
Sometimes you find yourself in a situation you can only describe as a rollercoaster.
It starts fast, full speed ahead, and makes a quick turn. Not the nice ride, but the interesting ride. And then it settles down, it slows down and you begin to relax. That’s when it hits you hard. Just when you thought the worse is over.
When it comes to your dashboard, you don’t want your users to contemplate an empty screen, are you?
You also don’t want your customers to have to click 17 times before seeing one chart, are you? Instead, you want them to receive the most important information first. First, the problem, then context, then a way for them to find out more if they need it.
When I saw I did not have my train tickets, I looked into my emails and found no confirmation. Desperate, I called my colleague. Fortunately enough, she was in front of her computer and had received the confirmation.
That was the equivalent of 17 painful clicks.
Even more fortunate for me, the conductor came 5 minutes after I had received the ticket by email. Time is of the essence, and it can define success or failure for a professional product.