Join Nate Makdad for an in-depth discussion in this video Dashboard hierarchy, part of Creating Interactive Dashboards in Tableau (2015).
- Creating a hierarchy in your Dashboard is really about creating a natural flow for viewers to follow your Dashboard to help make the experience intuitive. Now that we've created a couple of charts, we're really ready to start thinking about how some of these charts are going to fit into our Dashboard and see if it tells our overall story. Design Hierarchy is about aligning them the template with the way people read a screen and placing the text, colors, images and content that helps, that matches up with the order in what people usually see them in. In general, people start in the top left of a page and work their way left to right and then top to down.
The other piece we want to consider with our hierarchy is kind of just a fundamental foundation or foundation template. One method that I've found useful for designing a template is kind of using a three-layer approach of Foundation, Control and Content. To think about how to structure the template and where our formatting needs to be similar and where our formatting needs to be different. So in this particular example, with these Foundation Layers, your foundation would be a background color or lack of color that kind of permeates around all of your charts and controls. Your Controls then, might sit as your parameters or filters that are going to adjust, then your final Content, which are your charts, which sit at the top layer, you know sit on top of the Control Level.
So really kind of using these three layers, we can think about where our grouping needs to look similar and where it needs to look different. So again, just a quick takeaway for how we're going to apply some of this information to our Dashboard design. Start at a high level, work towards a specific. We want to group similar segments together. And placement of our objects should be targeted with a particular story in mind. So with those takeaways in mind, let's jump over to our Dashboard and let's go ahead and add in our first actual Dashboard template. So I'm going to go down to click on New Dashboard.
And now, we got kind of our blank sheet and so, really, I'm going to start with my Foundation Layer which is for this particular Dash, we're probably just going to be the title but I want my title to be big. I want this at the top. And I want it to stand out. So I'm going to put my, grab my Text Object, drag it in, I want to make it big. So let's start at about 28 and see where it fits. I'm going to do, Online Learning Growth, and it could probably be a little bit bigger. Yup! That looks good for now. And then we want to create space for our next two layers.
Some I'm going to go ahead and grab the Vertical, drop it in underneath the title and these Vertical buckets help with automatic spacing and so the next layer is really going to be the Controls. So this is where I might drop in my filters and parameters. And so for now, I'm just going to put this as, Hold for controls, and then we'll continue to add pieces there. And then, really beneath that is going to start to be our charts. And so, this is why we started with the worksheets because now I can grab my sheet, drag it down, put it underneath my Controls, you can start to see where the charts are going to fit in.
So really about, Design Hierarchy really helps guide our viewers through our template and improves the visual layout of your report.
- Building worksheets to feed dashboards
- Formatting data
- Creating visuals
- Creating calculated fields and sets
- Designing the dashboard
- Adding interactive parameters
- Keeping your Tableau dashboard up to date