This was our first release in the executive dashboard wireframe/mockup tool category. It works very nicely to visualize ideas for an executive dashboard-type front page of an application.
"Cool Blue" is an enterprise dashboard wireframe template with a 3 column layout featuring a wide center column containing a data table. It's surrounded on each side by portlets. A nice modern look suitable for the common "let's put a dashboard page into our application" scenario. There is a text portlet, small table portlets and small graph portlets on this enterprise dashboard.
This executive dashboard wireframe is done in Powerpoint with standard shapes that you can easily customize for your own business intelligence dashboarding needs. If you need to brush up on Powerpoint, just remember that elements can be "grouped" to keep them together. To edit these groups, first right click and ungroup them. The other thing to remember is that elements go in front and in back of each other. Right clicking will show you the "order" and you can bring items to the front and send items back.
How do I download this enterprise dashboard template?
To use this enterprise dashboard template, you must download the Powerpoint file. There is a link above the dashboard screenshot above. You should right click on that link (or on the dashboard screenshot itself) and choose the "Save Target As" menu item. You will be prompted for a file location to save to. Pick a folder and download the .ppt file. Look for it after it finishes downloading and open it using Microsoft Powerpoint.
I regular clicked it and it opened but I can't do anything with it.
Depending on the set up of your PC, you may have opened the file with your browser. Go back to the link and use the "right click" instructions to download the file so that you can open it using Powerpoint itself.
Why is this wireframing tool in Powerpoint? Will the screen mockups look like real screens or will they have a blocky Powerpoint look?
Take a look at the screenshot. Looks like a nice enterprise dashboard, doesn't it? And, yes, it was done in Powerpoint. Don't think of the traditional out-of-the-box presentation. When used properly Powerpoint makes for a powerful wireframe and screen mockup tool. Plenty of work has to be done to create the template, but of course, we've already done that for you. As the user of the mockup tool, your job is much simplified by the fact that it's in Powerpoint. You now have a nice dashboard layout and an easy to customize wireframing tool. Now you can concentrate on the real challenge - filling the mockup with real content that your users want.
Special Dashboard Idea!
Don't be embarrassed if you need a refresher course in Powerpoint. Here are some books on Powerpoint.
Because the dashboard wireframing tool is in Powerpoint, you are all set to go when you are ready to present. All you have to do is to include the slides in your presentation and just run the slideshow!
But what do I actually do with the page after I open it in PowerPoint?
Ok, so you've opened the file in Powerpoint. In edit mode, you can click on the various parts. Note that each part, whether it be the tab navigation, the side portlets, or the center table, is composed of little PowerPoint elements. In the table, for example, you'll see that each row alternates in background color. If you click on one row, you'll discover that each row is actually just a Powerpoint rectangle. The text portions of the table are just PowerPoint text boxs. Everything is fully editable using normal PowerPoint techniques. Anyone can do it. See the power of this? No need to know html, or photoshop.
But Dreamweaver and PhotoShop are more powerful!
I agree, but how many business unit people have those programs installed? Or, for that matter, how many of these users have the knowledge necessary to produce dashboards using those programs? PowerPoint is usable by everyone.
Keep up on the latest products and services for digital dashboards. A wide knowledge of the landscape is critical when it comes to the technology and vendor selection phase of your dashboard project. Investigate the various platforms powering the dashboard examples you see on The Dashboard Spy.