Quick User Guide on Your Dashboard – updated.

It’s the small things that help our users interpret the dashboards that we make, at the end of the day everyone is here to produce a clear dashboard so the end user can make direct data driven decisions.

After recently attending a #Tableau user group where Alberto Cario was talking, he mentioned the theory of users understand a dashboard in the first 3 seconds is kind of false. They do need to read it a little bit to gage the full capacity and answer questions. This stuck with me as I went back to the office and I kept asking myself what more can I do to help…
I found this to not always be the case, no matter how simple your pages can be and that he did have a point. I recently built a dashboard for an X number of users that had never seen Tableau before, let alone heard of it. So everything was new and shiny for them – I gave a week or so for trial and feedback to help make the users journey as best as possible and for them to get the full functionality out of it. Along with training calls and a hand out guide, I thought it was a good idea to make a Quick User Guide on the front of my dashboard report and wanted to share.

Here is an example

Quick user Guide exmaple - Blog

This is a very basic example, and a lot of you may already be implementing this practice in your work – but imagine what more you can do with this as a starting point for your users, hopefully your brain is ticking and a light bulb moment happened.

Here is a list of other additions

  • Actions to certain parts – like a contents page
  • More descriptive text
  • Definitions
  • Filters on the front that work for the whole dashboard
  • Instructions
  • Dates
  • Commentary for your quarterly / annual report

Pay it forward and spread the word.


After looking at other options of user guides, this below is now on the front of every dashboard that we build.

You can get the idea and tailor it to your needs, I ensure I put examples on the front of each page that is relevant to the dashboard they are about to look at.

Hope you find it useful.

Quick user guide example 2

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