CHERYLTEMPLETON

UX design, research & writing

U.S. Army System Administrator Dashboard

General Dynamics (2013–2014)

DASH is meant for many users to work in collaboratively, so we got a group of our coworkers to test it out together.

DASH is a web application for U.S Army system administrators to use with Command Post of the Future, software also developed by General Dynamics. Previously, users had to monitor servers and troubleshoot problems using an array of independent tools. This lead to a disjointed workflow and confusion. Simply managing a large number of application windows could be a challenge. Also, these users work in shifts throughout the day and night, making knowledge transfer essential.

With DASH, users can now go to one central place to monitor a large, distributed system and follow up on problems. System alerts are highly visible, and users can keep track of resolved issues thanks to logging and comment features.

Contributions

I primarily worked on both the overall navigation of the application, the features relating to alerts that administrators would receive, and the log of user actions. There was another UX designer, a visual designer, and a technical writer also supporting this project.

The challenges of this project were to keep the application simple (while packing in a lot of information) and to combine functionality from several related tools. In addition, this application is collaborative, so communication and awareness of other users were essential. The logging of user actions and the ability to leave comments helps users collaborate and hand off tasks.

As with the Mobile Decision Support project, we were able to bring in subject matter experts and users to test out our work. One of my favorite parts of being a designer is getting to see users interacting with an application that I contributed to and either celebrating success or finding out some interesting results that help drive the project forward.

We kept a large whiteboard wireframe up during the project to use in design team discussions and to share with developers.
DASH alerts table.
Wireframe with annotations used in discussions with the development team.
DASH main dashboard for monitoring servers.