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Tip! Use containers to provide visual clues to user

by Frequent Contributor on ‎06-23-2016 10:40 AM (301 Views)

Dashboard gauges get a lot of haters - but I think it's undeserved. Here's some tips I have for helping users understand how objects are related. As you can see in this example, my idea was to have a dashboard gauge some supporting information. Before using the containers – the background was all white so it wasn’t clear that the information on the right was connected to the gauges. In my Planning Your Dashboard post, I show more examples of how I selected the supporting charts. 




In the post, I show how I used horizontal containers to control the layout and help the user understand how items are related. I had already built the objects - which actually made this a more difficult task. Since I didn’t plan ahead, I had to do a lot of re-arranging which made the task more difficult.


Here's specifically what I did to create the containers and move the content around.


1. Start a new section and add two horizontal containers.

2. In top container, change background color; set transparency around 70%. (Note: In artwork, it’s called Horizontal Container 3.) 

Tip! When highlighted in SAS Visual Analytics, it may appear with a darker border.  Click off of the object to see the actual colors.


3. Duplicate the container with the color and move it to the bottom. Now you have three containers – all ready for content!




4. Return to your source section, right-click the objects and move each one to the new section.  




5. Drag the objects into the proper container. Yeah...time for happy feet!

Tip! Use the Properties tab to control the width of each container. You want consistency.




Some think a dashboard just comes together with a few quick clicks.  A successful dashboard takes a little more planning and consideration for the user.


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