Development of a dashboard as part of PinDown’s new graphical user interface

University essay from Lunds universitet/Högskoleingenjörsutbildning i datateknik

Abstract: Dashboards are used in many different situations where it is necessary to be able to display information on a single screen, in a way so that the information can be monitored at a glance. This thesis explore the possibility of using a dashboard for the new graphical user interface of PinDown, an automatic debugging tool developed by Verifyter. The dashboard will be used to monitor projects from a single view. The thesis investigate the current implementation of the interface in terms of usability as a reference point for what needs to be improved with the new design. We present three different frameworks for web application development, Ruby on Rails, Django and Play, and compare them against each other with respect to backwards compatibility, ability to obfuscate, compile to WAR and server-side thread safety. We evaluated the dashboard design through user tests of the developed proof of concept. The result of this thesis was a prototype of the new graphical user interface which can be further built upon. The prototype was designed according to reliable design principles and the underlying architecture was carefully chosen, to make a robust basis for further development. For back end development we concluded that any of the mentioned frameworks could be used. The decision to use Play framework was based on our own experience with the Java programming language and the current implementation being written in Java. To visualize data in graphs we used NVD3, a charting library written in D3.js and to make the application responsive we used Bootstrap, a front end framework that makes the design respond to resize and different screen types. Our conclusion is that the design met Verifyter’s needs and that the dashboard should improve the usability of PinDown. The evaluation did not lead to any redesign but we found a few usability issues that were corrected.

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