Tabbed Navigation with Parameter Actions

For last week’s #makeovermonday dataset, the challenge was to improve a visualization from the UN related to a survey for the Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). I was very pleased by having accomplished the following outcome:

available at Tableau Public

The part that really made a difference on the viz experience was the top navigation allow users to change the bottom contents.

As you can notice by the video above it looks like the icons grow when they are selected. And to do that I used a mix of 3 features in Tableau:

1 | Configuring the Preferences.tsp file to add the color pallet for the SDGs:

    <color-palette name="SDG" type="regular">
        <color>#e22840</color>
        <color>#dca745</color>
        <color>#4f9e3e</color>
        <color>#c31d32</color>
        <color>#fc3c2e</color>
        <color>#33bde0</color>
        <color>#fbc230</color>
        <color>#a01c43</color>
        <color>#fb6933</color>
        <color>#db1c68</color>
        <color>#fb9c36</color>
        <color>#be8a38</color>
        <color>#417d46</color>
        <color>#1d98d6</color>
        <color>#5abe37</color>
        <color>#0d699b</color>
        <color>#1b4969</color>
    </color-palette>

2 | Adding the icons as shapes in the Shapes folder in the My Tableau Repository folder:

3 | Integrated it all in Tableau in the following way:

  • Opened a new sheet, changed the marks card to Shape and dragged the Goal field to the Shape card
  • Also dragged the Goal field to columns so that the icons showed side by size.
  • Made sure the size was a bit shorter than the middle point in the Size card. This will create a little spacing between each shape.
  • Right clicked the worksheet, format, and removed the background color (selected none).
  • The end sheet looks like this:
  • Next, I’ve right-clicked the Goals field and selected Create > Paramater. This build a very simple parameter that looks like this:
  • The following step was to open a new sheet and do almost the same as the Shape one. But this time I will have the mark set to Square and the Goal field into color.
  • The trick here is to size only one value (the one the user is currently selecting). For that I needed a simple calculation to define the size of the selected value based on the Goal Parameter:
  • I dragged that to Size shelf and made sure it had size set to the half tick mark. This was the end result:
  • As you can see the selected option in the parameter is a big square. The non selected ones are very small, but that’s not an issue because the images will be on top of those.
  • The next step was to build it in the Dashboard canvas. For this one to work I had float all sheets. First I dragged the latest sheet and set it for the following position:
  • And then I floated the sheet with the shapes exactly on top of if, but with a little offset of 10 pixels at the top, and reduced the size of it to 80 to create the 10 pixels ofest at the bottom:
  • To finalize I had to create the action that would change the parameter value when the mouse is over each shape. Very simple one through the Dashboard > Actions menu:

So that’s how you can quickly create a very cool menu for your data viz projects. If you want to see more details, feel free to download the workbook in Tableau Public.

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