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The World Doesn’t Need Another Dashboard, Portal, or Console

John Bussiere
June 27, 2022
  GTM SaaS

Here’s a question for you: how many monitors do you have? 1? 2? 🤔


Maybe you’re a regular Dwight Schrute with your own Mega Desk. If so, congrats.DSchrute

You get a dashboard. And you get a dashboard! And you get a dashboard…

Similar to screens, how many dashboards, portals, or consoles do you have? Or maybe a better question is how many of those do you need?


Productiv’s 2021 State of SaaS Sprawl report shows that most companies have 40 – 60 SaaS tools in each department! And large enterprises have 364 tools companywide!!!


Each one of these SaaS tools usually means yet another dashboard, portal, or console.wall_of_apps_adj


The result? Lower productivity and an average app engagement rate of only 45%. This makes sense. The amount of time it takes just to login and manage all this software likely means not only a decrease in output but also less attention where it is most needed: on your customers.

The increasingly bloated dashboard

To make matters worse, many SaaS dashboards become a dumping ground for every piece of information connected to the app.


One reason this happens is because many companies try to wring every ounce of worthwhile data from their product and deliver it to the end user. Regardless of whether it’s the right information or the end user is the right person to get it.Um...no


Another reason we see this is because many SaaS vendors are often guilty of thinking more is better, so they constantly add more functionality in effort to prove their product value.


Regardless of the reason, the result is feature creep. 😱 The ever-present boogieman of the product design world where new capabilities are continually added to a product. According to a Harvard Business School study about feature creep, end users perceive a large feature set as complexity, leading to dissatisfaction and feature fatigue.

The first step to defeating chronic dashboard fatigue…

So, we end up with feature fatigue on top of dashboard fatigue. When enterprise users need to log into 40 different (and overloaded) dashboards, it’s no wonder they are experiencing unnecessary complexity and fatigue.Exhausted


The result here is a user is unable to parse what is valuable to them or create any sort of hierarchy of importance. Instead, they end up with an endless stream of information marching across their monitors, unable to find the signal through the noise.


This is the enterprise equivalent of staring at a never-ending list of Netflix titles on a Friday night. No surprise it’s paralyzing! Except, in a business setting getting buried in excess details creates moments of inaction that can lead to critically missing what your customers need…


Understanding a problem is the first step in solving it.

Harkening back to the golden age of the customer: Meet customers where they are

Although there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for this problem, we can rely on the guiding principle of meeting the customer where they are.


To be clear, I’m not saying dashboards are inherently bad. But there are a few things about dashboards that aren’t great.


For instance, assuming you need to force customers to use a dashboard just “so they have a home base”? Not cool. 👎


Also, using a dashboard as a dumping ground for all the information that might be important to a user? Double not cool. 👎👎


On the other hand, using what you know about a user to give them the right information, where they need it? Very cool. 👍👍👍


The core tenet for a stellar customer experience is to give them the right information where and when it is most useful to them. When your core features and services are embedded within a user’s existing workflow, the question is no longer how to get a user to use your product. Rather, it’s how could they possibly be successful without it? 😎

How Tingono is meeting our customers where they are

Care for customerWith over 600k companies using it, Slack happens to be an incredibly popular business communication tool at the moment. According to Slack, users spend more than 9 hours per workday connected to its platform. Even more impressive, users spend ~90 minutes per workday actively using Slack.


The first thing Tingono did to meet customers where they are is recognize how critical Slack is in a user’s daily workflow. The second thing we did is ask what insights and data we can productively share through Slack rather than place in a dashboard.


With this approach, we’ve minimized dashboard bloat and provided accessible, actionable insights right where they can use them.


Our philosophy has been to not ask our users to change their behavior unless there is no viable alternative. With this approach, we are meeting the customer where they are and reducing unnecessary pain points.


Here’s to a more customer-centric (and less dashboard-y) future! 🎉