Designing to a Grid in Tableau
One of many main ideas when learning graphic design is designing to a grid. The idea entails designing a web page format in method that connects it with an imaginary grid. Designers typically present this grid when they’re designing. For instance, utilizing Adobe InDesign they will make a grid seem below « Grid and Guides » within the « View » menu (and CTRL + semicolon to toggle) . Listed below are just a few brief movies that designate this idea and the way it may be utilized in design.
If you want to check this extra, there may be a 2-hour course, Designing with Grids in InDesign, availabe on Lynda.com.
John McWade additionally has a graphic design series on Lynda.com.
This yr, I’ve spent a while learning and training with an expert graphic designer. He’s a former professor of the College of Cincinnati’s famend Faculty of Design, Structure, Artwork, and Planning (DAAP) the place he additionally accomplished his graduate work earlier than becoming a member of the school. For a grid design train, he requested me to format some particular textual content in a grid, an train that he used to have his college students do at UC. I designed a lot of variations utilizing InDesign. Right here is one easy instance.
Textual content with a grid:
Textual content with out the grid:
This idea additionally applies to information visualizations and can be utilized in a lot of alternative ways. For instance, Stephen Few talk about the visible emphasis of the totally different dashboard areas in his guide Information Dashboard Design (Second Version, pages 107-108). He exhibits a four-quadrant dashboard format the place the top-left quadrant is the « emphasised » part of the dashboard and the bottom-right quadrant is « de-emphasized ». This is an instance of the four-quadrant grid overlaid on prime of his CIO Dashboard (web page 223). On this case, it is clear that the system availability is crucial ingredient of this dashboard.
This is one other instance utilizing one of many Makeover Monday visualizations done by Rob Radburn. On this visualization, Rob makes use of a collection of small multiples in his design that just about suits a 7 x 7 grid.
So the grid can be utilized for design functions and it can be used to position emphasis on sure components of visualization. Sadly, there are not any grid choices to show in Tableau. Hopefully in a future model of Tableau we are able to setup grids and have the ability to snap objects to these grid. Within the meantime, I have been fascinated about how greatest to do that in Tableau with its present capabilities and have provide you with this answer.
Leverage clear PNG photos as a floating tile
Through the use of a PNG picture file with a clear background as a floating tile it is attainable to indicate a grid on prime of a visualization and design beneath it. Listed below are the steps for including a grid on prime of a dashboard in Tableau:
1. Create the specified grid in Adobe Photoshop. I created numerous grids which can be the identical measurement as Tableau’s default « Desktop » dashboard canvas measurement (1000 x 800 pixels). The background is ready to clear in order that when it’s saved as a PNG file it can solely present the grid and no background.
2. Add the picture created in step 1 to the Tableau dashboard as a floating tile. That is necessary, as a result of the floating tile will sit on prime of all the different components on the dashboard.
3. Set the « place » of the floating tile as x = 0 and y = 0.
4. Set the « measurement » of the floating tile to match the dimensions of the dashboard. For instance, w = 1000 and h = 800.
Be aware – by doing this, the menu bar for the floating tile will seem off display screen. From this level ahead we are going to management every part from the Structure window in Tableau. For instance, if it’s essential alter the picture to « Middle picture » or « Match picture » then you possibly can right-click on the PNG file within the « Structure » window.
5. Alter your visualization as wanted to design to the grid. For the reason that floating tile is on prime of the dashboard you won’t be able to maneuver or alter your different home windows by clicking and dragging. Nevertheless, merely choose the thing that you simply want to alter from the Structure window and the main focus will set on that particular object (tiled or floating). You’ll be able to then drag, transfer and re-size the thing as wanted and it is possible for you to to try this whereas the picture of the grid remains to be displayed on prime of the dashboard.
Under is an instance utilizing a easy 4 quadrant grid on a dashboard.
If you want to do this your self, click on on the hyperlinks beneath to obtain just a few pattern grids that I made in Photoshop.
I hope you discover this data useful. When you have any questions be happy to electronic mail me at Jeff@DataPlusScience.com
Jeffrey A. Shaffer
Observe on Twitter @HighVizAbility