Dashboard messages welcome your users as they enter the digital asset management (DAM) system, the Widen Collective®. You can use them to guide new users, highlight timely content, or notify users of changes. That’s why we’ve made it easier to create dashboard messages — no HTML or coding required.
Widen’s DAM dashboard example
To help get you thinking about how you can make the most of your dashboard messages, we wanted to share our own.
The WAM (or Widen Asset Management) is our source for Widen assets, resources, and historical assets. It’s the go-to-source for all things related to the Widen brand. You’ll notice our dashboard features a variety of top searches for assets, links to brand documents, and WAM help resources. All of these links help our employees understand and live the Widen brand.
How to create your dashboard messages
Now it’s time for you to create your dashboard messages.
Step 1. Evaluate the current dashboard
Start by reviewing your existing dashboard. What was the goal of your dashboard and does it accomplish it? Is the look and feel on-brand? Does it help users find what they need? Think about what’s worked well and how you’d like to build upon those successes.
Step 2. Identify the information to include in your dashboard
Before you start designing your dashboard messages, you need to identify what information needs to be included. If you have a DAM governance document, your purpose and vision statement for your DAM are a good place to start. You can also talk to others, conduct UX research, look at Widen Insights search data, review Google Analytics user session data, and apply your experience. Consider:
- What information do you want users to be aware of and have access to?
- What assets do your users look for the most frequently?
- What links to external sites would help users find what they need?
- What parts of the Collective do you want to bring front and center? E.g., Workflow request forms, a portal, a template, or a collection
Before you commit to including all that you’ve listed out, review your list and cut out anything that seems redundant or unnecessary. For example, you might not need to list all of your portals, only the most commonly used ones. If everything is necessary, consider whether it’s needed for everyone or only certain roles. Remember, if everything’s important, then nothing is.
Step 3. Organize the information you’ll include in the dashboard
Now that you know what to include in the dashboard, it’s time to organize that information. You’re a DAM admin so this should be the easy part!
There are three ways to customize your dashboard: dashboard messages, spotlight searches, and spotlight collections. Use dashboard messages when you want to have more flexibility with the layout of your messages or to use custom graphics to represent search results, collections, portals, or other groupings of assets or external links. Spotlight searches and spotlight collection functionality hasn’t changed and should be considered as part of your dashboard planning as well. Use them for highlighting commonly accessed searches and collections of assets.
If you’re planning on linking to specific parts of the Collective apps or external tools, test links early in the design process. Make sure you can easily link to where you need users to go. This is also a great time to review your metadata for key assets. If you’re linking to a set of search results, ensure that all of the assets you’d expect to see are appearing in the results.
Step 4. Evaluate your design resources
While you can use existing assets from the Collective on your dashboard, you may want new graphics designed for the purpose of informing and directing your users. When designing the WAM dashboard, we worked with our creative team to create custom graphics for our messages. Our designers were brought in early on to better understand the thought process and goals for the dashboard. We also reviewed the new functionality with them so they could have a better understanding of how their designs would be used. Once they’d seen the new functionality and understood the dashboard goals, we provided the designers with copy, sizing direction, groupings, and hierarchy of the information for the messages.
If you don’t have access or your design team doesn’t have the bandwidth, you can try a tool like Canva to create custom assets. Just be sure to reference your brand guidelines for font, color, and other requirements. And when creating your dashboard assets, ensure you establish consistent sizes for each section.
As part of your design planning, consider how you’ll make updates to the dashboard in the future. If you don’t already have one, create a Collective or dashboard asset group and category so you can easily find what you need when building your dashboard. You can also create a naming convention for your dashboard assets. And as a DAM best practice, upload the design files to Collective so that you can make updates to the image or copy in the future.
Step 5. Create your dashboard messages
Now that you know what information to include in your dashboard and what assets will be used to represent it, you can start creating your dashboard messages.
Step 6. Update your governance documentation
You have a new dashboard but your work as a DAM admin isn’t over. Document the goal of your dashboard, what influenced the design of it, and how many messages you’ve created and for whom. This way you can easily reference your work in the future, like when onboarding a new DAM admin or when you’re ready to update your dashboard again.
Your DAM dashboard welcomes your users into the site and should be used to inform and inspire users on all that they can accomplish with the help of the Collective. Take advantage of the opportunity!