The WUPOS Dashboard is a dashboard interface to help Western Union agents understand their team performance with interactive data.
Data Visualization, UI Design, Prototyping
John McRee/Sam Xia
The WUPOS (Western Union Point of Sale) system is the tool used by Western Union agents to make transactions for their customers. By its nature, it also collects detailed transaction records on the backend, which can be used to assess team performance.
Currently, agents can only choose to aggregate data between two dates, generate a report, then either export or print it out to compare with previous reports. It’s a repetitive process with very low flexibility. The new dashboard aims to solve the problem by providing a powerful way to filter, sort, and compare data, all in an interactive interface.
My job on this project focused primarily on data visualization and user interface design. First, I identified all types of charts and graphs in the current reporting system.
One of the problems with the current system was the intensive use of pie charts, which were inherently difficult to compare. Pie chart can be used to show a rough fraction of the part against the whole, but even then only the most frequently used fractions—1/2, 1/3, 1/4, etc.—are easily understandable to the user. Any small differences will have to be discerned from the markings—the text—rather than from the chart.
Another problem was layering sub-level details in the charts. It is similar to comparing the amounts of apples and oranges, while trying to show the proportion of red to green ones in the apples pile. The layered information may be crucial to the user, but it can also make the main message of the chart confusing or even misleading.
Last but not least, the charts were highly repetitive, making the report lengthy while only conveying limited information. For example, the Transaction Volume chart also has a percentage version, showing exactly the same chart, differing only in the markings. These charts can be easily integrated in an interactive interface.
Next, I analyzed the meaning of each chart in the current system, and tried to understand why the user would want to see it. It is important to know the reason behind these charts before renovating them, because if the meaning of the chart is A, while the real goal of the user is to understand B, then instead of improving on A I should be exploring ways to visualize B to the user.
A great example here is the Send vs. Receive Amount chart. While the chart shows the user the total amount of send vs. receive transactions, what the user really wants to know is how much a commission he or she can get from the transactions. In the current system, in order to calculate the total commissions, the user has to multiply send amount by send commission rate, then do the same for receive, then add the sums up. Knowing the user’s real goal, the new dashboard displays the calculated amount of commissions directly to the user, as the first chart on the page.
Finally, one of the biggest drawbacks of the current system was the lack of ability to compare a certain type of data over a period of time. In the current system, the user has to generate reports for each week, month, or year in order to compare the data. It is a time-consuming process prone to errors. In the new dashboard, I designed a time navigator which allowed the user to quickly zoom in and out on the time scale, select the period of interest, and compare the data immediately on the chart. This way it is very easy for the user to both tell the accurate value of each individual data point and know the overall trend.
The dashboard UI is comprised mainly of various types of charts. Chart elements and customizable details of each chart are shown here. The goal of this design is to prioritize clarity, legibility, and efficiency, while remaining on-brand as a Western Union product. View InVision prototype here.