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Tip! Use containers to provide visual clues to user

by Frequent Contributor on ‎06-23-2016 10:40 AM (280 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. 

 

 Dashboard.png

 

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.


sascom_dashboard-01.png 

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

 

sascom_dashboard-02.png

 

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

 

sascom_dashboard-03.png

 

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.

 

sascom_dashboard-04.png

 

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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