10 Things You Can, But Should NEVER Do In OnePager – #1

Sorry…we know this has nothing to do with the article except, maybe, “skin the cat,” but hey, the internet loves kittens, so why not? Photo cred: metro.co.uk

We give you lots and lots (and lots) of flexibility to accomplish certain things in your OnePager charts. This flexibility usually gives you a variety of ways to “skin the cat.” But, like most things, there is usually a right way and a wrong way to achieve the desired results.

Over the next 10 or so weeks, we’ll highlight the mistakes we see most often in our support interactions that we wish we could help everyone avoid, and do the right way instead:

1 – Changing Colors Manually Continue reading

Review: “The Big Book of Dashboards”

Over the years, I have received countless requests from novice users to have me help them make their visuals look “pretty.” Pretty, as we know from studying data visualization best practices, has absolutely nothing to do with a good chart.

That said, after you’ve simplified your report, balanced your data ink, and eliminated any chart-junk, it can be a valuable exercise to attempt to achieve elegance in your visual design through some harmonic use of shapes, color, white space, font, etc.

Some people just have this gift: the artistic ability to use the elements they have available in a very eye-pleasing way. The rest of us need examples to follow, and for this, “The Big Book of Dashboards” provides plenty of inspiration.

Continue reading

New Video: Best Practices – Data Visualization in Planning Part 1

We’ve done quite a bit of research over the last few years into data visualization best practices, and the cognitive psychology of how people best absorb visual information. This two-part series is to summarize what we’ve learned so far, in an effort to help our audience be better communicators, and to foster conversation around making good charts in the planning community.

We hope you find it useful!

If this piques your interest, here is some continuing ed.

Individual 2hr OnePager Training Offered At $249

Until very recently, the only way to get formal OnePager training was to purchase group training.

Now you can purchase a 2hr OnePager training class, for you as an individual, at $249.

If you’ve had a hard time convincing your colleagues that training would be beneficial, but you know it will be, this is definitely for you.  Even a seasoned user will have several “aha moments” within the first 20 minutes.

We’ll be adding classes over time, so if the schedule doesn’t meet your needs, send a note to sales@onepager.com or just take a fresh look now and again.

You’re welcome to send any questions to jleslie@onepager.com, any time.

Data Visualization – Suggestions for A Fresh Design Phase

One thing we’ve talked a lot about in the last year is that creating your visuals in planning (data visualization and plan communications) is a very specific area of study, and discipline.

photo credit: menshealth.com

Communications in business, generally, should be designed for optimal readability by their audience, to cut risk. Miscommunication in business is bad. This means we need to actually put some think-time and design-work into our plan-related communications.

If you and your organization haven’t circled back around just yet, to make sure you’re doing it right, this article might help give you some food for thought on how to retroactively initiate a design phase. Continue reading

Understanding the Apply and OK buttons in OnePager

When you are changing your settings in OnePager (Home > Project-View Properties), you’ve probably noticed the three buttons at the bottom of the screen:

  • OK
  • Apply
  • Cancel

Everybody gets what OK and Cancel are, but Apply isn’t quite as common. In short, the Apply button lets you make changes, see them take effect, and continue to make more edits with the window still open. Keeping the window open makes it easy for you to make more changes without having to go out of Project-View Properties and then come back in:

Continue reading

Exploratory vs. Explanatory Visuals in Planning

I love this topic because it elicits a higher level of thought around designing the data visualizations we need in planning, in a way that my simple mind can consume.

In her book “Storytelling with Data,” Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic points out very early on that there are really two kinds of data visualizations: exploratory and explanatory. Exploratory visuals are created to help us figure out what the important things are within the data…they have an analytical purpose. Explanatory visuals are meant only to show us the important things…there should be little to no intended analytical value. Continue reading