Well-designed spreadsheets help users easily analyze, scan, compare, and sort information. Simply put, they greatly simplify the perception of the data displayed on the screen. Professional web design agencies in San Francisco often have to work with websites and apps that display a lot of information on one screen. In this case, a spreadsheet can be very helpful in structuring information.
In today’s article, you will find some tips on creating high-quality data tables that you can apply to get a user-friendly design.
Top tips for designing beautiful spreadsheets for websites and applications
Let us now go over the proven methods from design professionals that help improve user experience.
Fix the cap and the first column
A table header that is attached to the top of the screen when scrolling through the page will help users not forget the names of the main columns. The user will always know which column this or that information belongs to. The same can be said about the first columns because sometimes visitors have to scroll horizontally.
The fixed first column will help to easily navigate and compare data along several lines at once.
Make adjustable tables
Adjusting the width of the columns will also allow you to customize the graphic element. You even get the opportunity to adjust the height of the lines. Adjusting the height will help you be able to fit more information on the screen. The implementation of this can be performed as a button to change the display density.
Determine the style you need according to size
A large table makes it difficult for users to perceive information without graphic dividers in the form of the borders. If you’re working with a small table, you can try to remove the borders and lines between the lines. Adding some negative space to the table will make it appear more elegant. However, large tables must have borders. This will help you analyze information faster.
Create a dashboard
Users will be happy if you create a summary containing the most important information. This can be especially useful for business tables. So the businessman will be able to immediately understand what steps they should take, depending on the current situation.
You can also give the opportunity to see the necessary information on the pages. For example, a user may want to look at the first 10 or 20 lines to get the necessary information. Give them this opportunity by creating a form making it possible to select the number of lines to display.
Tip: This pattern can also be used to gradually load more and more information. This works well on entertainment sites where the user opens up more and more new content while scrolling down the page.
Add visual helpers and quick editing
Adding visual options will help users understand what they can do with the data. You can also add the “forward”, “delete”, and “copy” buttons.
Short-term editing will help correct typos or small errors found in the table.
Add a quick summary and preview
The quick summary option for the line will help you learn the main details and get the necessary information. A preview should be added if you allow the user to customize and create tables on your website. In this case, the user needs to understand how the table will look after they upload it to the website.
Tip: In addition to the preview, you can make a separate window in which information will be displayed exclusively on the line that the user clicked on. This will help to focus on the details to understand whether or not editing is necessary.
You can also create several small floating windows so the visitor will be able to select the necessary elements and then work with each of them. A similar system is implemented in the Gmail service.
Implement quicksort and filter
Sorting in descending and ascending order will help you find the necessary lines and study the required information. You can also add the ability to custom sort, like in MS Excel. Then the user will decide on the parameters that they need for sorting.
Another possibility you can give users filters. All important data can be placed on a separate page and the user can set the necessary parameters of their search.
Add the ability to search through columns
This function is used for columns when there are many of them implemented. The search function will allow users to quickly find the information they need on specific rows belonging to a particular column.
These tips will help you create high-quality tables that will be easy and pleasant to use. When creating a graphic element, think about the useful features that help you find or filter information. This will allow boosting the usability of the table and make it more valuable to users.