This week I had the pleasure of listening to paul.chapman at the London TUG and he spoke about how, in a previous role, he pioneered the creation of corporate branding at EasyJet; creating style and analytical guidance for his analysts that supported the development of a common look and feel to all of the workbooks they created.
At the same time I also had a great email conversation with Rafi Zelikowsky from Tableau about her forthcoming TC17 session 'Designing for adoption: Implementing a corporate standard'. She is sharing advice on how to create a unified look and theme across dashboards in Tableau Desktop and Server, something I am particularly passionate about. When I implemented Tableau Server at Southern Health some of the best advice I received related to the risks of analysts creating 101 different designs to their Tableau workbooks and how this can undermine consistency and have a negative impact on an end user's experience of interacting with multiple Tableau workbooks when they all look differently.
For me corporate branding isn't just about creating a common look; it is also about increasing an end user's confidence in their use of your workbooks. By ensuring workbooks have a common design you allow an end user to become familiar with how a workbook is designed and as such they quickly become comfortable in how to use them, and comfort quickly can lead to confidence. paul.chapman said this best in his London TUG and forthcoming TC17 presentation when he described it as, and I apologise for probably misquoting, people learn through muscle repetition. By ensuring your published workbooks have a common look and feel, for example your filters in a common place, or a common colour palette, an end user can become familiar and as such confident in your Tableau published content, because they are repeating the same tasks every time.
Inspired by Paul's presentation and my conversation with Rafi I wanted to share with people the style guidance that I have created for my own organisation; it isn't on the same level as Paul's cutting edge approach when he was at EasyJet but it has helped implement a corporate branding within our Tableau environment (consisting of 20 Desktop licenses and an 8 core Server license). 2 years since first going live with Server, we now have over 250 workbooks and one of the common pieces of positive feedback we receive is that they all look professional and consistent and users appreciate this when interacting with so many workbooks.
I hope you find the attached style guidance useful, if you wanted to take a copy and amend it for use in your own organisation you are most welcome to do so.
If this is a subject matter that is of interest to you and you are going to TC17 in Las Vegas I would strongly recommend attending the individual sessions that Paul and Rafi are presenting, the links are below: