Every now and again we’ll have a user tell us that OnePager has, over time, gotten slower at things like opening and updating OnePager files, or responding to certain commands in the editor.
99% of the time there is a single smoking gun when it comes to what the user describes as slow performance: LOTS of Data
There are two popular flavors of LOTS of data that can manifest as slow response time in OnePager:
1 – Importing too much stuff in OnePager (even if it gets hidden later)
You cannot delete shapes from your OnePager view, they can only be hidden.
Recently a user sent me a visual that had significant performance issues.
Upon launching Where’s My Stuff, I realized that there were about ~1600 tasks and milestones that were being included on the import, that had eventually been hidden for a variety of reasons, over the years.
For whatever reason, at some point the user had chosen to filter what was displayed in their chart after the data was in OnePager by hiding rows, or simply modifying the time axis boundaries. This created a wolf in sheeps clothing.
The right way is to filter your activities and milestones coming out of your source file. This way you’re only looking at what you want to see. This will avoid bringing too much data into OnePager, and therefore slowing it down.
Be aware, however, that if you have done a good job of filtering, and you have thousands of rows of data in your source file, OnePager will still need time to comb through all that data as it is either creating a brand new chart, or performing an update.
Some of our customers use upwards of 100 separate Project files, each with lots and lots of data to create a single OnePager visual…this takes a LONG time to create and update.
2 – Build up of unnecessary snapshots, over time
A snapshot in OnePager is like a “slide” within the OnePager document (.tam file), and you have the option of adding more snapshots over time. Once you have more than one, you’re able to click back and forth between them to animate the change that occurs from one report iteration/slide/snapshot to the next (as shown below).
This is the value of the snapshots feature…to be able to click back and forth between the two snapshots, to animate the change. Animation is a preattentive attribute that will pull your audience’s attention to the items moving, and give them more context as to what has changed between your report iterations.
While using the snapshot feature can be helpful, it can also be inadvertently overused.
Sometimes we’ll see a significant build up, over time, of snapshots. When we have our user click the List All button in the View tab in the ribbon, their list of snapshots looks like the above (or much longer).
As you can imagine, this can build up the size of the OnePager document, significantly, and there are usually snapshots that are no longer usable; they just aren’t something you would display to an audience, because there has been so much change over the course of time that they have lost their utility. Take the below, for example.
There is just too much blank space and blinking (created by change), for these to be useful.
Make sure to go through your snapshots using the List All button on the View tab in the ribbon, and delete any snapshots that are no longer needed. This keep your file size at a manageable level, and retain the usefulness of the snapshots, which is the point.
If you don’t care about your old snapshots being useful, then you might want to rethink your Update process altogether; why not button up a Template and, instead, make a New Project View each time you need a visual?
Or as another alternative, perform an Update > Replace > All Properties over the same snapshot, each time.
As you get to know how the update options work, you’ll begin to figure out what the most efficient and best process is for you.