- Uncharted Area
- How I Build Tableau Dashboards Quicker Than You Can Imagine!
How I Build Tableau Dashboards Quicker Than You Can Imagine!
10 Techniques to Build Faster, Smarter, and Better Dashboards
Tableau is my favorite tool to visualize data, create charts, and build interactions quickly.
But I have stopped using it to design dashboards.
The experience of building dashboards in Tableau is outdated, slow, and frustrating, especially if you compare it to other software like Figma.
That’s why we released the Figma to Tableau Plugin a few weeks ago, which allows you to export all your Figma designs in Tableau in one click.
Here are ten reasons you should use Figma to build your Tableau dashboards and save a mountain of clicks 🏔️ and hundreds of hours of work.
1. Build and Use Templates
The number one time-saver on the list.
If you have been using Tableau for a long enough time, the idea of making Tableau Templates has crossed your mind. It’s a great time-saver, but it’s not practical and scalable to build them in Tableau.
Instead, we have designed our templates (from one to six worksheets) in Figma. A great feature is that multiple people can collaborate easily in one design file.
The best part is that all these templates are ready to be exported in Tableau with the plugin.
Select one or multiple dashboards and export them in Tableau in one click!
All you have to do is replace the dummy worksheets with your real ones (after the export in Tableau or by uploading an existing Workbook in the plugin).
It’s the best way to have simple and efficient dashboards ready to be used.
But what if you want to change the style? Don’t worry; we've got you covered!
2. Local and Global Styles
Most likely, your company or clients already have a design system.
Using the templates mentioned above, you can utilize the Local Styles options to change all the colors and font styles of all dashboards instantly.
Quickly update all your dashboards with your colors
Of course, if your design system already includes colors and styles, you can use them with our templates or any new dashboards you will build.
But what if you don’t want to use templates?
Is it still more efficient to use Figma and export it to Tableau?
Let’s explore eight more tips that make designing dashboards a breeze.
3. No More Containers Frustration
Say goodbye to adding blanks everywhere to be able to use your container.
Say goodbye to being afraid of resizing a Worksheet and breaking the design.
Say goodbye to headaches trying to figure out how to move your worksheets from one container to another.
And at the same time,
Imagine changing a Horizontal container to a Vertical one.
Imagine moving your elements with precision from the Layout pane.
Imagine adding a parent container without struggling with blank placeholders.
Move items with precious, change container direction, add parent container
All of that is possible using Auto-Layout Frames in Figma. Imagine a Container without all the pain and struggle… a Container as it should be by default in Tableau.
But what if you are team Floating?
4. Floating Elements That Stay
You have spent hours building your long-form, beautifully designed dashboard in Tableau. All elements are in their proper place, pixel-perfect.
And then you realize you forgot to add the sources at the bottom.
No big deal, right? You’ll just increase the height of the dashboard…
Yeah, I’ve been there.
Changing the size of your dashboard in Tableau changes the size and position of all floating elements. And you can’t fix it.
Thankfully, in Figma, you can define the constraints of every floating element inside your frame. Do you want it to stick to the top? To the middle? Should it move around with the size of the dashboard? You decide!
Design with a peaceful mind in Figma, and export it to Tableau!
And remember, you don’t have to rebuild it in Tableau. Our plugin allows you to export your dashboard as a floating or with a background image!
5. Bulk Changes
This one is another tremendous time saver.
In Tableau, you must change each item's padding, margin, border, and background color individually.
In Figma, you can easily select multiple objects (frames, sheets, texts, etc) and modify all the visual elements simultaneously.
I wish Tableau could do that!
That’s great if your elements already exist, but what about copy-pasting containers? Should that not solve the issue?
6. Copy and Paste
I know, I know, you can copy-paste some elements in Tableau, but not the most important ones!
Let’s say you have spent a lot of time designing containers within containers with all the worksheets and titles in the right place and the proper format; you cannot duplicate that to save time!
You can only copy-paste containers if they don’t have worksheets, which rarely happens.
Copy-paste containers with worksheets!
In Figma, that is not a problem, and you can duplicate and copy-paste your formatted containers as much as you want.
Ok, we saw that you can save time. But what about making more beautiful dashboards?
7. Modern and Beautiful Design
Almost every beautiful Tableau dashboard on Tableau Public has been built using an external tool like Figma.
Tableau misses many modern design features, such as rounded corners, shadows, gradients, etc.
Before, you had to export your design as a background image and place your worksheets in the right place in Tableau. You had to do the work twice.
With our plugin, you can create a beautiful dashboard in Figma and export it automatically with all the Worksheets already in the right place!
The plugin adds all your existing worksheets automatically
Let’s finish with three more minor points that will only save you a bit of time but that can pile into hours of work!
Here’s another feature that all modern design tools have: snapping.
Move around your object in your dashboard and get instant feedback to help you position your object in the right place. You can also align or distribute multiple elements very quickly.
And I’m not afraid that a snapping arrow will mess up the layout!
Let’s finish with two straightforward points that are still very useful.
9. Zoom In and Out
The only way to have a global overview of your Tableau dashboard is to export it as an image.
Does that make sense?
If you design a long-form dashboard and want a complete view, or if you like to zoom in to ensure your elements are aligned, you always need to export an image of your dashboard.
An advantage of designing in Figma is that you can easily move around and zoom in and out to adjust the pixel or have a complete view of your page.
Simply zoom in and out on your design
And let's finish with one of the most requested features in Tableau!
10. Spelling and Replace Text
A long-awaited Tableau feature: show spelling mistakes.
I am not sure it’ll ever be available, but this is a basic feature in Figma!
On top of that, you can effortlessly search and replace all occurrences of a word across all your dashboards and update it.
Correct spelling mistakes and replace texts everywhere
These are ten reasons why I design better dashboards using Figma.
This is not new, and you’ll find many videos praising using Figma + Tableau. The biggest game-changer is that you don’t have to rebuild the dashboards in Tableau.
With one click, you can use this plugin to export everything you have built in Figma to Tableau.
If you have any questions about the plugin, please contact me!
Reply to this email, and I'll be happy to chat!
That’s it for this week!
You can reach us easily over there:
‣ Website: https://www.ladataviz.com
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If you have any suggestions, feedback is appreciated!