Lots of great ideas shared here, however the discussion has veered off a bit into plain stats territory. At most I think the dashboard should display 2-3 different stats. Other than that, it should just focus on helping you do the admin-thing you came to do.
Critical dashboard features for me include:
I typically go there with a goal in mind. Get me the dashboard asap so I can drill further into what I came here to do.
Speaking of goals, I don’t want a lot of visual elements competing for my attention. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone on Facebook meaning to send a quick message to a buddy, only to trip into the news feed and forget what I came to do.
Helps me find what I’m looking for
While I might know what I want to do when I land on
/admin, I often don’t know where to look.
If you have Chrome installed, I highly recommend checking out their
chrome://settings/ page, which I think is excellent:
Another great example is the iOS settings screen:
One mockup I played with almost a year ago looked like this:
This is more Metro style than the two examples above, and I find it to be somewhat inferior, but it attempts to work within our current constraints.