Mocking up Dashboards

When you mock-up a dashboard, you essentially build a “practice” dashboard to get a feel of what the components and layout will look like. It really is a best practice. You and your client should have something tangible to look at and agree upon before diving into serious development work.

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For the purposes of mock-ups, Sitting down with a client and hashing out the details with a sharpie and a whiteboard is ideal. In that light, I thought it would be nifty to create an electronic way to create a scribbled dashboard mockup.

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So I created a bunch of Excel Grouped Shapes that I could copy and paste together into a mock-up.


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I initially thought it would be very useful, but it turns out to be….meh…not that useful.

It’s cool, but shallow.

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In any case, here is the workbook that contains my complied Excel Mockup Components. Feel free to download and play with it.

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In the workbook, you’ll find several scribble-style components.

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Because each component is essentially a group of Excel shapes, they are all fully customizable (you can change color, size, contents, etc).

Simply select the component you want, press copy and paste to where you need it.

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Have fun with it.

10 thoughts on “Mocking up Dashboards

  1. John

    Why didn’t this turn out to be as useful as you thought? Was it easier to use paper/pen? (I’m always interested in using the best Excel solution, even if it’s not a formula/vba).

  2. Jay Killeen

    I’ve had a similiar idea after looking at the sort of wireframing that web designers do. I generally find though that due to a dashboard just being a ‘one pager’ it is just an easy to bust out a quick wireframe on my whiteboard and then take a picture.

    Is this why it didn’t turn out to be as effective or something else?

  3. Patrick

    Donut chart? Et tu Mike? Et tu?

    Just kidding 🙂 This is brilliant, and reinforces the point that short-shrifting this design phase will only cause pain later on

  4. datapig

    Jay:
    Yeah, it’s just easier draw something up by hand. Plus, if you do an electronic mockup, there’s an expectation of dynamic linking to data (real or fake).

    These tools were too fancy in terms of quick and dirty mockups, but too flimsy in terms of creating dynamic electronic mock-ups.

  5. Stewart L

    absolutely brilliant, really useful and more credible than drawing by hand – like you say they may be an expectation for the data to be linked by the graphics in the spreadsheet help stakeholders realise ‘at a glance’ that this is purely a mock up – whereas dummy tables / graphs often disappoint even when you point out they are place holders. good work!

  6. John

    Great file, thanks! But where did you find those shapes? I would like to complete the workbook with more charts and shapes.

  7. Pingback: Mockups (bocetos) para Dashboards • Agustín Suárez

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