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Tableau Bringing Big Data to the Masses with a Unified UI

“Data yearns to be free, to tell its stories to all those who care about its revelations. Discovering and sharing those stories should be easy.”
– Tableau’s website

Tableau aims to help people see and understand data so that they can impact the world. The company creates award-winning software that makes analyzing data fast, easy, beautiful and useful. The Tableau team has always been dedicated to designing products centered on the user and their experience. Working to unify their product experience for the highly anticipated Tableau 9.0, they partnered with Artefact to propel the platform further ahead.

The goal of our collaboration with Tableau was to unify the Tableau experience by crafting a modern, innovative and uniquely Tableau-branded user interface across platforms and devices. Through interviews with the Tableau teams, users and the community, we identified opportunity areas to improve the user journey and visual design.

We then worked through a five-step Visual Brand Language (VBL) framework for digital products to define the look and feel across the Tableau products in a way that is not only easily applicable for version 9.0, but can be extended to serve as the unifying foundation of future versions of the software.

The VBL framework helped define visual and interaction principles centered on creating a fresh, yet familiar interface. As a result, we collaborated to create Tableau’s new Visual Brand Language and a design pattern library. Together, they help to unify the Tableau experience so that it remains familiar no matter what device the user is on.

Based on the design principles defined by in the framework, we captured and redesigned the key hero moments or scenarios of the user journey, and translated these into seamless interactions and UI features. By finding and optimizing these key experience points, Tableau users can focus on what they come to Tableau for – exploring and discovering insights from their data.

“It was and is a pleasure working with the team at Artefact. This has been a true collaboration from start to finish that resulted in a great product experience.”

Chris Stolte, Chief Development Officer and Co-founder, Tableau Software

“Tableau's focus on ease of use for the individual has paid off, and the tradition continues with Tableau 9.0”

Doug Henschen, InformationWeek, April 7, 2015


Streamlined Authoring

Authoring is at the core of the Tableau experience. We worked together to design a streamlined toolbar for easier authoring and collapsible panels that hide controls that aren’t actionable for a given context.

Easy to Manipulate Data Sets

Data sets are the building blocks of Tableau. In order to help people understand their data sets, we created a more visually transparent and communicative interface that previews an action before applying it, and visually shows people when their data sets are broken.

Contextualized Dashboards

Another core component of Tableau are the dashboards, where we helped contextualize the experience by relocating controls specific to the scenario and made panels specific to the uses on the dashboard the user is viewing.

Flexible Story Creation

To give users the full picture of their data and empower them to share that view, we helped expand the Story Points feature by giving users more flexible formatting and presentation options as well as publish options for sharing a data view.

Actionable View + Browse

To simplify the browsing experience, while also maintaining the powerful search and filter controls for power uses, we implemented a streamlined navigation with sort and filter controls that emphasizes core use cases. We also added the ability to view favorites with large workbook previews and real-time update notifications.