6 Replies Latest reply on Mar 16, 2012 1:33 PM by Tim Latendress

    A Volunteer for a Viz Debrief

    Ellie Fields

      Got this tweet from@PRodd:

      @eleanorpd @tableau Feel free to Critique my stuff I do just for fun and post here: databyprod.blogspot.com     insidedeadbustedgrant.blogspot.com


      There are several on those pages, I thought I'd drop this viz into Viz Talk:



      So here goes, Paul:

      • Love the use of a master-detail view with both quick filters and the filled map as a filter. That offers a variety of ways to interact.
      • Formatting is nicely done, though I would liked to have seen a dashboard title.
      • You did a nice job of fixing the color scale so it doesn't shift around as the user selects divisions and positions. That's a common mistake and can be very disorienting, making it hard to compare one selection to another.
      • Change the legend title! SUM(Number of records) could become #Players and fit.


      Overall this is a very nice, straightforward view that lets a user get the information they need with attractive visuals. Any other comments from the crowd?

        • 1. Re: A Volunteer for a Viz Debrief



          Great Viz and agree with Ellie's comments. I have just a couple other one's to share with you. Disclosure, I do not play nor fully understand Lacrosse, but I am a huge sports fan. I played soccer in college and still play, etc. So when I see Viz's that have to do with sports, I want to learn more! Take my feedback as someone whose eye was caught and wants to engage with the Viz.



          • Legend for "Attack", "Defend", etc. in the table, it is included on the far right and I assume it is the players position, but it is not explicitly called out.
          • Since you have the originating state of the HS player, and their college destination you could expand this Viz and include a "Which states produce the most players" along with another view "Which college is picking up the most players." One of our very own consultants here has done some neat things with college football recruiting. Check it out and you might get some ideas: http://www.tableausoftware.com/public/gallery/college-football-recruiting
          • Divisions - what do they mean? They range from "1-U" but I am not sure what they mean.


          Again overall a great Viz! Nice work and thanks for spreading the word of Tableau in the Lacrosse community.

          • 2. Re: A Volunteer for a Viz Debrief
            Shawn Wallwork

            Hi Paul, when I first looked at your viz I thought we were talking soccer, and was about to agree with Ellie that a dashboard title would have helped, but then I went to your blog and realized this viz was taken out of context (the title was in the blog) and repeating it would be redundant, so leave the title as is.


            Here are few minor graphic suggestions that might make the viz 'pop' a bit better. Here's your map:


            Unfortunately it demonstrates some of Tableau's weaknesses. The state labels are too faint, and impossible to read through any of the darker colors, which is why I rarely use the native map labels. (It sure would be nice if Tableau native maps start at 100% black borders and labels, and then let us wash them back to an appropriate level.) Anyway here's an alternative you might consider:


            I turned off the state and country names, and turned on the state borders (only). Then I changed the color shelf border color from 'automatic' to a black line. Then I put your HS_St field on the label, and played around with the size to get the font just right. You also have to mess with the placement along the eastern seaboard a bit. Then to get the labels to read a bit better on the darker states, I pulled back the transparency to 60% on the color shelf. I think this approach has two advantages: First the states are more identifiable (the labels are on top of the state fills), and second it's easier to tell which states are 'in play' and which ones had no recruits.


            Tool tips is the other area you could improve. For instance,


            The default tool tips get all the fields into play, but rearranging them can make the info much more user-friendly. (If you really want to go the extra mile, write an if statement so you don't have to use the '(s)' like I did.)


            Here's a more friendly tool tip for the chart:


            Again with a bit of work you could get the name switched to a first-last configuration.


            Obviously I thought your original was a nice enough viz to put some time into, and the suggestions I made are all minor ones. Your original is just fine as is! You look like you're having a good time with Tableau and putting it to good use. Keep on Tableau-in' (truckin')!



            • 3. Re: A Volunteer for a Viz Debrief
              Andy Cotgreave

              HI there

              This is a nice and straightforward viz. I agree with the others' contributions and would add:

              1. Turn off the zoom controls on the map - your map is probably always going to be viewed as "all the lower 48" states. Turning off the zoom controls removes one more thing that might distract/confuse your user.
              2. Also, turn off the little features on the filters (Search, More/Fewer). Why? Again, they are UI additions that are not necessary when the number of items on quick filter is small
              3. For Tableau Public views, I also think you should turn off the Keep Only/Exclude options on tooltips - it's too easy for non-expert viewers to get themselves in a mess they can't get out of with those buttons.


              These may seem trivial, but every tiny bit of UI cluttler you can remove from your viz will make your end users' lives easier.

              Keep up the great work!

              • 4. Re: A Volunteer for a Viz Debrief
                Tim Latendress

                I agree with Andy that those minor changes to the UI will help the user experience. And then he said this:


                "you should turn off the Keep Only/Exclude options on tooltips - it's too easy for non-expert viewers to get themselves in a mess they can't get out of with those buttons."


                which hits on what has become one of my biggest pet peeves in V7!  I was uneasy when I first saw these options at the conference and have grown to despise them. I turn off those command buttons on every viz for the very reason Andy describes -- users get themselves into a place where they don't know how to recover. But I like the "View Data" option. Unfortunately it's all or nothing when unchecking the "Include command buttons" Tooltip option. I wish they would give me the ability to turn those off individually or give me the option to change the default to leave them turned off.


                Off topic -- but I feel better after getting it off my chest. 

                • 5. Re: A Volunteer for a Viz Debrief
                  Shawn Wallwork

                  Tim, I totally agree with you! (Though maybe not the part about 'biggest', it definitely makes my top 5.) And please, please Tableau at least set the default to 'off' instead of 'on'!


                  I can say my absolute BIGGEST pet peeve about these forums is that I am not allowed to post a link to the Idea that deals with this very issue! So Tim instead, you'll need to go to the Ideas section and do a search for Ability To Turn Off Tool Tips. Then scroll to the bottom for your command buttons issue:

                  Command Buttons.PNG

                  The good news is that Andy (arguably the tool tip King) has passed this issue up the ladder at Tableau!


                  See bottom of: http://community.tableau.com/thread/116785


                  (But an up vote wouldn't hurt.) Here's hoping a solution is in the offing!



                  • 6. Re: A Volunteer for a Viz Debrief
                    Tim Latendress

                    Done. Thanks Shawn!