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Clarity 7 Report and Template Guidelines - OLAP Solutions Inc.

Clarity 7 Report and Template Guidelines

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In any system implementation it’s a good idea to have standards and guidelines for development and presentation.  Clarity is no different.  When all Clarity templates and reports have a common look and feel, users know what to expect and a level of professionalism is achieved.  For example having light yellow as input cells on some templates and light blue on other would be very confusing for users.  Likewise if the standard input cell color is used on reports for non-input.   Standard are also important to report and template development with respect to naming conventions of objects and files.

I’m not going to say what your guidelines should be, every client has different requirements.  What I would like to provide is a template designers can use to document their standards to ensure consistency during an implementation and beyond.  Although I’m going to cover some highlights in this blog entry, the OLAP Solutions full Clarity 7 Report and Templates Guidelines can be found on the resource page.  This White Paper will cover this topic in more detail and provide a great starting document to build your own guidelines!

For this post I’m going to discuss standards for the following areas:

  • Excel Canvas
  • Left-hand Toolbar

The White-Paper includes addition entries for:

  • Page Options
  • Traffic Lighting
  • Features
  • Naming Convention for Report Designers

Excel Canvas

Clarity templates and reports represent the primary input and visual representation of your system to the users and so it is critical to improve adaptation and usability that strict standards be followed when designed these interfaces.  The following table lists the main items I recommend to apply standards, along with some examples.

Property Name Type Description
Title
Font Arial Font used for the entire report / template
Title Background Color Differs by environment – each environment should have a standard different from the other environments.
Title Font Color Black Color used for Title font
Title Font Size 18, Bold Font size and other attributes of the Title font
Selection criteria under title
     Background color White (Red:Green:Blue::255:255:255)
     Font Color Black
     Font size 12, Bold
Selection criteria for the column Header
     Background color Same as Title Color
     Font Color Black Color used for Header font
     Start Row 12 Hide all the rows after one blank line from title
     Font Size 10, Bold
Selection Criteria for Data
     Background Color
          Display field White This is a standard color choice with ratio: (Red:Green:Blue::255:255:255)
          Input field Yellow (Red:Green:Blue::255:255:204)
     Font Color Black
     Font Size 10 Make sure No Bold
Criteria for Sub-Total
    Background Color Grey (Red:Green:Blue::192:192:192)
    Font Color Black
    Font Size 10, Bold
Calculated Field
    Background Color Grey (Red:Green:Blue::192:192:192)
    Font Color Black/Red Use red (255:0:0) in case of alert
    Font Size 10
Other Areas
#Missing Member Display 0 Will be changed to appropriate display based on Excel cell formatting
Cell Formatting Comma separatorRed negativeBracket negativeDash for zero$ on Total Row Excel custom format string:_-* #,##0_-;[Red](#,##0);_-* “-“_-;_-@_-For Total Row:_($* #,##0_);[Red]_($* (#,##0);_($* “-“??_);_(@_)
Borders Data = GreyHeaders = Black Light gray 25%Decimal: 12632256  / HEX = C0C0C0

 

Left-Hand Toolbar

Nothing is more annoying than using a report or template, wanting to export the sheet to Excel and not finding the toolbar item required.  Personally I find there to be 5 or 6 toolbar items that I include on every template or report – no matter what.  For your organization this list may be include more or less items, but you users will appreciate that the list is fairly consistent and contains the items they require.

The following table lists my standard toolbar items for both OLAP templates and reports.  The list is slightly different for relational templates and report, but mostly the same – so I won’t include them in this post.  For further details on these please see the white paper on the resources page.

OLAP Template

Section Toolbar Item Notes
Options
Select Options
Open In Excel
Import from Excel
Print
Print Preview
Online Help Only where content exists
Notes
Cell Notes
Highlight Cell Notes
Template Notes
Notes Summary
Data
Save
Retrieve
Format
Row
Column

OLAP Report

Section Toolbar Item Notes
Options
Select Options
Open In Excel
Print
Print Preview
Cascade
Online Help Only where content exists
Notes
Cell Notes
Highlight Cell Notes
Template Notes
Notes Summary
Data
Save For row notes only
Retrieve
Format
Row
Column