Return Path Custom Dashboard Reports

Return Path Custom Reports Dashboard
Return Path Custom Reports Dashboard


Increase the value of Return Path data and insights through a new dashboard for our customers.

The business wanted to update our look and increase the value of the dashboard to customers. Customers wanted easy views of their email marketing performance and helpful insights to enhance their email program.


Target Personas

With every project at Return Path, we start with our researched and validated customer persona profiles.

Olivia the Organizer, our Primary Persona

Return Path Persona - Olivia
Return Path Persona – Olivia

Design Kickoff + Rapid Sketches

Establish current knowledge, learn about customers and various dashboard options. Rapid sketch sessions with internal stakeholders, Design, Product, and Engineering.

We came up with multiple concepts: 1) Customizable Tiled Dashboard, 2) Activity Feed, 3) Gamified, and 4) Competitor options.

Dashboard Concept - "Customizable Tiles"
Dashboard Concept – “Customizable Tiles”
Dashboard Concept - "Activity Feed"
Dashboard Concept – “Activity Feed”
Dashboard Concept - "Competitors"
Dashboard Concept – “Gamify
Dashboard Concept - "Gamify"
Dashboard Concept – “Competitors”

Internal + Customer Feedback

We then went through quick rounds of feedback: 1) Hallway Testing with Internal Subject Matter Experts feedback and 2) Remote Screen Shares with Customers feedback.

What we learned was that internal stakeholders representing the interests of our customers stack ranked the Customizable Dashboard first, the Activity Feed second and the other two concepts last. So we looked to wireframe those out and get another round of feedback.


I created two quick wireframes of the two options and a combined version and we had a few customers let us know their thoughts.

Wireframe – Dashboard Tiles
Wireframe – Dashboard Timeline

The Dashboard Tile version was a clear winner, but in our conversations with customers we started to hear that a “New Dashboard” didn’t really add much value to the experience and that when we started to ask “What if you could customize it?” that was somewhat more compelling. But then when we asked, “What if you could send this customized dashboard as an automated report to you and your team?”. There was a huge response to that value, customized and actionable information pushed to customers.

With the knowledge and confirmation that a Customized Dashboard with Email Reporting was the right direction for our customers, we started to iterate and dig into the details of the Tile designs.

Moderated Card Sort

Two Product Managers and myself did a rapid round of Tile Concept Sketching and came up with a group of 15-20 sketched concepts. We then used a Trello board to create a moderated card sort with customers.

Card Sort - Dashboard Tile Concepts
Card Sort – Dashboard Tile Concepts

From that feedback we had a prioritized backlog of Tiles to start working through, designing, validating with customers, and building out with the engineering team.


“Now I can easily show to my boss what’s going on. I can also quickly look into trends and see what I can do about it.”
– Warner Q., Return Path Customer

In the end, we created our initial expectations of a customized dashboard, but discovered and validated the “Web App as Email” concept I had been at the start of this process. If we push content that matters to our email marketing customers into their daily context, they can review and monitor things easily, customize it, and communicate easily with their teams (up and down the organization).

Success Metrics

  • 61% of users per account are receiving Dashboard Email Reports

  • 12% increase in unique pageviews

Customized Dashboard – Full Dashboard
Customized Dashboard - Email Report
Customized Dashboard – Email Report
Customizable Dashboard - Add Dashboard
Customizable Dashboard – Add Dashboard
Customized Dashboard - Add Tiles
Customized Dashboard – Add Tiles
 “These new dashboard reports will be saving me probably 10+ hours per month. Thank you so much!”
– Zach G., Return Path Account Manager

Before + After

Return Path – Previous Dashboard
Return Path Custom Reports Dashboard
Return Path Custom Reports Dashboard

Take aways

“I really pushed this iterative process and felt more confident we were solving real customer problems with each iteration – to top it off, I really enjoyed the process as well.”
– Travis

Overall the process was a rapid and iterative learning process – an ideal pace and increasing of confidence at every step. The final product showed that Return Path was listening to its customers and provided a helpful enhancement that was easily customizable to their workflow and differing team communication needs.

I would probably spend more time prepping the Engineering team, planning in revision time, and doing rapid iterations on some interface interactions to really nail some of the nuanced UI elements in the final build phases.

“The challenges of this project were replacing a major section of the application while still providing unique value.

Ultimately the success of this final dashboard solution was the user experience design and framework we created.”
– William K., Product Manager