Monday, March 17, 2014

Tableau Needs a New Windowing Scheme

This is a bookmark post, I'll flesh it out later.

One of the very big frustrations of working with Tableau is the needless hiding, unhiding, and managing its various user interface components. The data window, dashboard window, and formatting windows (and there are far too many of them) all occupy the same real estate, and only one of them can be seen and interacted with at a time.

This basic architecture probably seemed like a reasonable idea when Tableau was created. The number of UI elements and zones was small and didn't get in each other's way too much. It was even probably good to have a fixed framework in that the user's attention could be focused on the analytical space without distraction. But those days are long gone and Tableau's UI architecture is now an impediment to accomplishing the things we really need to get done.

It would be much, much better if Tableau freed up the subordinate functional components so that they could be organized in ways that helped rather than hindered productivity. There are lots of examples of tools that do this well—I'll be adding some illustrative examples, mostly from a couple of my favourite tools: Inkscape and

stay tuned, more to come

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