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Trends Dashboards

About this feature

This nationwide tool provides instant access to up-to-date data, empowering users to swiftly grasp evolving trends in specified geographies.

About the Project

Launched in October 2020, amidst the pandemic, this feature was developed in collaboration with NYC officials to offer vital, real-time data insights. From there the concept was taken and expanded to allow access to certain important weekly data metrics across geographies at a nationwide scale delivered through a simple dashboard interface. 

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Initial Plan

Joining Replica in August 2020, I was greeted by a feature conceived as an MVP and hastily deployed to users amidst the unfolding pandemic. The development, primarily driven by developers in the absence of a dedicated product design and management team, resulted in a functional yet unrefined user interface. The available data, though rich, was presented without the necessary depth of thought on usability and user engagement. Recognizing the potential impact of this tool, especially in providing critical insights during the pandemic, my task was to transform this MVP into a fully realized, user-centric feature. This required not just a redesign of the interface but a reevaluation of the dashboard's role within the broader context of Replica's offerings and the urgent needs of our users during an unprecedented global crisis.

Problems to Solve

The Trends Dashboard feature represented a unique challenge, intertwining the development of both current and future dashboard functionalities with a broader application UI/UX refresh, part of Replica's rebranding efforts. Key focuses included:

  • Rapid Focus on Core Requirements: Leveraging a basic framework of product requirements, our immediate goal was to enhance user experience significantly.

  • Revamping User Experience: Grounded in user research, we aimed to design, prototype, and test a new user interface that intuitively aligned with how users expected to interact with and consume the dataset.

  • Establishing Data Visualization Standards: Identifying best practices in data visualization, we developed a comprehensive style guide to standardize our approach to using charts and maps, ensuring clarity and consistency.

  • Implementing Event Tracking: To enrich user interaction, we introduced event tracking capabilities, enabling users to mark dates or periods of interest on charts, thereby elucidating the relationship between data trends and specific time frames.

  • Reflecting the New Brand Identity: As part of the rebranding initiative, it was crucial to ensure the updated brand aesthetics were consistently applied across this feature and the entire application, enhancing visual coherence and brand recognition.

This multifaceted approach aimed not only to solve immediate design and functionality challenges but also to set a foundation for ongoing innovation and improvement within the Trends Dashboard and across the Replica platform.

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Rapid Iteration and Results

Embracing the challenge head-on, the project became a testament to the power of collaboration and rapid iteration. Working closely with the Chief of Staff, who temporarily took on product management responsibilities, and a dedicated team of developers, we embarked on an intense period of redevelopment. This collaboration was characterized by constant, real-time communication and a shared commitment to delivering a refined Trends Dashboard. Within just 2.5 months, we not only overhauled the dashboard but also introduced a lightweight redesign of the entire app, seamlessly integrating the newly established brand identity and incorporating critical updates to our design system.

 

The impact was immediate and profound. Cities and communities, grappling with the effects of COVID-19, found in the Trends Dashboard a reliable tool for tracking weekly changes in mobility and economic activity. This feature quickly became indispensable, providing actionable insights that helped navigate the uncertainties of the pandemic. Three years on, the Trends Dashboard has proven its enduring value, becoming a cornerstone of the Replica platform and a trusted resource for communities and partner organizations alike. This journey from a rudimentary MVP to a pivotal component of our ecosystem highlights our adaptability, innovative spirit, and unwavering focus on serving the needs of our users in times of crisis and beyond.

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