Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Why so stingy with the Site names list?

Is there a good reason to limit to ten the number of Site names in the "Select Site" page in the Tableau Server log in process?

Or was this one of those things left up to whomever put the page together, and to whom ten felt like a nice round number? It has that feel to it. Tableau is full of these things, that seem to have been implemented in isolation without the guidance of a real set of unifying design principles that provide a coherent paradigm for the overall product.

I am admittedly sensitive to things of this nature, having suffered the annoyance of being addressed as "Christophe" far too many times because of the once-standard ten characters in names data processing limit.

As the Tableau Server administrator for a very large, very diverse organization with many Sites, I run into the silliness of needing to scroll the Sites list up and down enough to make we want to have a nice quiet chat with whomever is responsible for this feature and explain why it's inadequate.

And while we're on the subject, we figured out good usability design patterns for helping people find the item they're looking for in a list better than 20 years ago. There are plenty of candidates that would be an improvement here, why not use one? Taking it a step further, Tableau should settle on an approach for this functionality and use it consistently across the product line – this would be a huge benefit in helping people actually use Tableau rather than trying to puzzle out its mysteries.

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