Designing a Digital Command Center
What makes a good digital command center?
Digital Command Centers were becoming all the rage when the agency decided to build one of its own. They asked our group to research what would make one that's better than what was out there already.
Command centers were getting a lot of media attention around that time, and we found plenty of examples of how things were done elsewhere. Six screens connected to six different computers stuck in a windowless conference room -- that was basically the state of the art behind all the hype.
Command centers are typically designed for social media work and should allow for:
- simultaneous monitoring of multiple data streams
- sharing of knowledge between individuals and and teams
- providing common reference points for collaborators
- displaying information to audiences in a serendipitous manner
In addition to monitoring social media -- the primary use case for these kinds of spaces -- we wanted to make it useful in other ways:
- Creative: for experimenting with new forms of retail signage
- Strategy: for immersions into consumer environments.
- Marketing: for displaying the agency's work in an impactful way
- After-hours: for people to hang out
Based on this wish list, we have formulated six principles to which we stuck and which affected all of the decisions we ended up making: from the choice of the physical space to furniture selections and software design:
Take it out of the closet
Accommodate different types of work
Design around how real people work
People should to want to use it
Make it easy to fire up
Make the best use of it