MS Retail Engagement Dashboard

Everyday any one of Microsoft's 12,000 retail devices can have a problem, leading to poor customer experience and potential lost sales. In 2016 I worked on a small team to launch Microsoft Retail Engagement Dashboard (RED). The app solved the crucial problem of monitoring a network at scale while allowing individual devices to be quickly targeted for repair. As lead designer, I worked on a design that would help managers and technicians work from a common view of the data. 

Defining the problem

With over 100 stores and 12,000 devices, the project began from illustrating the problem for a macro to micro scale. A few whiteboarding sessions and wireframe sketches led to a concept of using a map with filters to drill down into regions, stores, and devices. This hierarchy led us to design the app horizontally with a left-to-right flow from macro to micro. 

Visual and interaction design

We used a simple color code for good, medium, and critical stores layed out on a map and in a grid of tiles. The colors and regional filters allowed a manager or store employee to quickly asses problems at different scales. 

Here the user identifies a store with a medium problem and figures out which devices are causing the problems
An example of a store with a critical number of errors

Icons and Branding

Branding focused on creating a simple logo that conveyed the macro-to-micro progression via the map. 

Testing in the field

The finished app was tested at the flagship retail store in Manhattan, NY. Angel, a technicican and aspiring film producer documented how he used the app in his workflow. Angel noted that he'd like that app to remember his store, along with a customized organization of his stores apps and devices. the view of his store's organization. At the end of the testing we found that most technicians had no need for the global view of all stores, so a provision to launch directly into the store view was added.


As a final step, PowerBI was added to the app to analyzel how each device and its app were being used. This allowed managers to see which apps were engaging the customers the most and on which hardware. Eventually, the data could be used to heat map store layouts of hardware and software. 

example of a future heat mapping scenario to optimize device placement

“RED [Retail Experience Dashboard] gave us a powerful real-time data analytics and health monitoring platform utilizing cutting edge Azure IoT and Power BI technologies. This platform empowers our users to easily diagnose issues and visualize the customer journey through a retail store via heat maps, foot traffic and device engagements.”

- Kyle Kausen, MS Retail