How to make your tables less terrible

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13 Jan 2018 23:51 - +1949
For a second there, I thought they were just going to remove all the data.
13 Jan 2018 23:30 - +1529
No, always leave the fill lines. Many ppl need them to read across the chart - like me.
13 Jan 2018 23:54 - +1290
You can pry my gridlines from my cold, dead hands.
13 Jan 2018 23:27 - +1206
Colors/shading are fine and often necessary. Without them, it becomes difficult to quickly glance through a line without risking an accidental jump into a different line. Outer border depends on what surrounds the table (use it if you need it). I'd still have tweaked the padding further in the resulting table. Grids and alignments advice is good.
13 Jan 2018 23:42 - +593
So shitting on Calibri is the new fad ?
13 Jan 2018 23:25 - +570
That precision annoyed the crap out of me. But rounding numbers is not always the correct thing to do. Even if rounding the numbers makes the chart look better I don't agree with that. In some cases rounding is ok but not in *all* cases.
13 Jan 2018 23:27 - +393
I disagree with some of this, but ok.
13 Jan 2018 23:31 - +215
Making the data inaccurate isn't a good thing. Rearranging it might have made it more aesthetically pleasing but harder to read. I shouldn't have to track it with anything other than my eyes. That's what the bars do, removing them increases the margin of error. Please people don't do this.
14 Jan 2018 00:16 - +163
This advice is really only suitable for something to be put in a Powerpoint presentation
14 Jan 2018 01:24 - +126
> Round the numbers, then round the numbers more To quote myself from [the last time this was posted]( Please don't do this. If someone gives you data to put into a table you, as a designer, should not be altering the data. If you want to suggest rounding the numbers to whoever is in charge that's cool, but don't go changing this kind of stuff without first seeking permission.
13 Jan 2018 23:38 - +114
Lol, you cant just round numbers. Take off grids on 5000 rows and pple gonna be mad.
14 Jan 2018 00:13 - +102
imo their end result is fine, and what they started with was fine too. depends on what you're showing. i don't like how this gif pretends to make objective improvements.
13 Jan 2018 23:45 - +88
If I turned in a basic table like this at work, I would be fired, lol. We have fucking artists that build our templates, and it’s a multi day process of time wasting bullshit.
14 Jan 2018 01:19 - +77
How to apply minimalist design to a data table that doesn't need it.
14 Jan 2018 00:24 - +39
Removing repetition is aesthetically pleasing but actually makes the table harder to use.
14 Jan 2018 00:18 - +25
I guess this is true for a chart in a slide deck or something your presenting quickly but for a real chart that people need to actually find data on its bad advice all around.
14 Jan 2018 01:33 - +22
"put white space to work" = make your data unsortable. Fine for presentations, I guess, but not if you actually need to use the data for anything.
13 Jan 2018 23:16 - +19
No way those debut dates for Hogan, warrior, and macho can be right... 😋
14 Jan 2018 00:25 - +17
You know how to make these instructions better? Make it a step by step series of single images instead of a hard to follow while working on making your table .gif. That said I don't see an issue with the original table but whatever works I guess.
14 Jan 2018 01:16 - +17
I actually preferred the first one.
14 Jan 2018 02:34 - +14
Ah, this advice is just as shit as it was the first time I saw it. Maybe one or two actually good ideas here. The rest is a bunch of garbage.
14 Jan 2018 01:29 - +14
Lol you just ruined a perfectly fine table
13 Jan 2018 23:28 - +10
These are some good guidelines to build off. Anyone else expecting the final 'improvement' to be 'replace tables with CSS' because of angry stylesheet evangelists out there? :P "Can you do this thing with CSS?" "Well, I suppose you cou-" "THEN DO IT." "Whoa, hey, I don't want any trouble, this is literally a table of-" (banshee wail, CSS purist attacks table user with knife)
14 Jan 2018 00:12 - +10
So, how to change your tables to columns
14 Jan 2018 01:17 - +9
Whoever keeps making these table formatting gifs needs to be found and hunted for sport.
14 Jan 2018 01:26 - +8
You can take my gridlines over my cold, dead hands.
14 Jan 2018 01:03 - +8
This is old, but lots of the information here makes visual comprehension more difficult. Too much of this is simply bad advice.
14 Jan 2018 01:15 - +7
I remember last time this was posted, and it's no different now: doing this to tables is awful, and the person that made it has no clue what they're doing. They turned it into an art project that is objectively worse for actual useability.
14 Jan 2018 00:12 - +6
I disagree with about half of the suggestions here, but this does add to the conversation, so have my upvote.
14 Jan 2018 00:51 - +5
I wonder how this table design works with accessibility
14 Jan 2018 00:36 - +5
Maybe for static publishing but now the data table is unusable for normal types of sorts and filters. The data may be redundant but it allows for easier searching and filtering without a macro or other kind of code.
14 Jan 2018 01:15 - +5
Removing the colors makes it harder to read. I think this is an extremely bad example.
14 Jan 2018 03:42 - +4
Sorry, I'd rather look at something with at least *some* visual aesthetic more than just plain, blank, boring black text on a white background.
14 Jan 2018 02:57 - +4
“How to make your tables useless”
14 Jan 2018 03:05 - +4
How to make your data tables unreadable. Sometimes less is just less.
14 Jan 2018 01:46 - +3
I disagree with 90% of this.
14 Jan 2018 02:21 - +3
Fuck all wrong with Calibri
14 Jan 2018 02:42 - +3
The aligning and resizing columns is good. Removing the bold labels is just bad design. Rounding could be okay, but probably a terrible idea if the data is important. Everything else pretty much depends on how large the table is and the purpose.
14 Jan 2018 02:46 - +3
Remove fills and gridlines? Sound like some unsubstantiated standard that never seen daylight on projections, presentations, printed, etc.
14 Jan 2018 03:08 - +3
Half these suggestions were awful. What if I want to filter? All the blank Roles are cancer. It's great too how they're like, "We don't need gridlines. Shit's easy to read without them. Oh, but whitespace as substitute gridlines is good."
14 Jan 2018 02:29 - +3
New title: how to make your table <<Aesthetic 偉バ花>> instead of readable and usable
14 Jan 2018 00:15 - +3
When I read the title I thought database tables. I was disappointed.
14 Jan 2018 02:44 - +3
If i have a fuck load of data you can damn well be sure its going to have gridlines, its so easy to misread large tables of data without gridlines.
14 Jan 2018 01:09 - +3
Can we not remove repititons? Even with properly hiding it, it makes it harder to analyze. Marketing always does this and then we give it to clients and they end up doing a blank cell special select fill which can lead to errors. There is a difference between blank cells and spacing.
14 Jan 2018 03:31 - +3
I hate, hate, hate when I have a table that doesn't in some way signify the rows. I continuously slip up and read the wrong data to the wrong subject. Keep rows, damnit!
14 Jan 2018 01:29 - +3
As others have pointed out this really applies heavily to presentation data. I would smack my analysts for removing repeat records and adding arbitrary empty rows in a working file, this kills the ability to work with the data. That being said, removing all the colors and nonsense is always a good idea.
14 Jan 2018 02:14 - +3
Made by someone who doesn't actually have to look at/use said tables on a day to day basis.
14 Jan 2018 01:32 - +3
They start out removing bold type and colors, then have bold and red type in their final "Less is more (effective)" quote hahaha
14 Jan 2018 02:22 - +3
I hate this. Yes, please remove everything that makes the table readable or useful in the name of minimalism.
14 Jan 2018 01:34 - +3
Yeah well that's like just your opinion man
14 Jan 2018 02:41 - +3
The before was much easier to read. Like what did we gain from the after, except difficulty to read, less precision, and looking uglier?
14 Jan 2018 01:40 - +3
I liked the first table better
14 Jan 2018 02:44 - +3
This seems backwards. Some of the changes I appreciate but in the end I liked the grid.
14 Jan 2018 01:52 - +3
This is great advice if you have a table with a set amount of data and you are putting it into a fixed medium but many of these tweaks only work with _exactly that data_. If it was a report on arbitrary movies, these adjustments would quickly become aesthetically unpleasing once the data changed in any meaningful way. Most of the problems with tables are because the data that will be in them is (somewhat) unexpected, such as a report where you don't always know ahead of time what precision will be required in all runs, or where the length of the text in each cell is variable so there is no "ideal column width". If the data is different in every generation of the table then things like columns widths and precision will be different, which which quickly become far more distracting having to constantly re-orientate yourself to where the find data than if the columns were just fixed in size regardless of what that did to the aesthetics. The chart they started with is obviously from Excel, which is generally for running reports. Hence the heavily stylized visuals, because they would tend to work with the widest variety of data without needing to edit the table every run.
14 Jan 2018 02:45 - +3
But, but I like Calibri :(
14 Jan 2018 01:53 - +3
While I like a lot of this, I dont like removing duplicates in left column, especially if the data is going to be used by others, instead of just viewed.
14 Jan 2018 03:30 - +3
Remove the word "less" from the title please. I mean, starting out by counting people and then having decimal points, of course it's going to look better when you get rid of that. But this isn't exactly a table. It's not a lot of information. This works for your cute little PowerPoint presentation, but try having a lot more information and then removing the grid and different colours. First of all, company colours can just enhance a table by making it look more official. Doesn't really do much, but it will look nice. Second, the colours help you follow a line. If you've only got information for 6 simple columns, then fine, but if you have a manager, the product, the type of sales, the revenue, the number of sales, the profit margin in euro's, then in a percentage, etc. Yeah, you're going to get confused looking at just some white open space. Especially without a grid. Especially when you remove repitition! Have seen some people suggest that rounding the numbers is bad. It's one of the only things I agree with, since it doesn't really matter whether someone has 89506 fans or 90492 fans. However, in this gif, you'll notice the law row goes from 5.00 fans to 0.0 fans. At that point, you're doing it wrong *before* and *after*. It's actually amazing to me. I usually do data analysis, and when I provide numbers on sales, I usually just remove products without sales. Of course it depends on the product. If it isn't selling but we still keep it on the shelves, then it's important, but if it's just some leftover product, then I'll simply remove it from the table. No point in showing 0.0 sales. Or an index, indicating growth from 2016 to 2017, simply because the product was first launched in december of 2016. I'm not going to show an index of like 1200 at that point. Either way, these tips are terrible when you apply them all the time. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's better to do something else.
14 Jan 2018 02:03 - +3
As person who builds wooden tables and is currently building a table I found this gif unhelpful. I will try to make an excel themed table in the future though.
14 Jan 2018 03:43 - +3
This is great if you're making a science fair board or selling a product, but if you're trying to do any real work then you've fucked yourself and everyone else that has to look at your minimalistic tables
14 Jan 2018 02:25 - +3
I develop software for nurses that just went through a design change akin to this, and all I can say is Ha! Power users do not want this kind of "less is more" design for their professional workflows.
14 Jan 2018 00:53 - +2
I am surprised it didn't remove the "Year of the..." column. It is completely irrelevant to the what the table is trying to communicate. I also probably would have broken it out into three tables each with their own header rather than have role as column. And I would have kept the zebra striping as it is a necessary aid for many readers.
14 Jan 2018 01:18 - +2
How does nobody realize this is exactly 50% meme, 50% good idea?

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