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Make Your Data Pop with Color in GridBuddy

Posted by AppBuddy on Feb 15, 2016 4:20:37 PM | Share

crayons-627895_1280.jpgGridBuddy has an easy-to-use UI that makes it simple to see all the data you need to see without complication, but occasionally we get requests for something different. This is part of the greatness of Salesforce: the ability to customize it according to your needs. It is to this end, embracing that philosophy of customization, that GridBuddy has full support for CSS and visual scripting, giving your organization the ability to fully customize your visual experience.

The possibilities with these tools are endless, allowing control over spacing, fonts, and even color. Any given part of a webpage can be altered with these tools, provided that the page is written to support it, and GridBuddy goes out of its way to ensure you have that capability.

Let’s talk about two of the ways you can affect your grids with color.

Column Shading

Sometimes, you just need to mark certain columns visually. With CSS, you can apply different colors to each of your columns, giving you the ability to visually set them apart. You can also apply different color schemes to parent and child objects, to set them apart from each other as well. All of this can be set on a grid by grid basis, so any colors applied to one grid will not affect the rest.

Let’s take a look at this example:

colorcolumns.png

The effects are subtle, but still stand out and enable a clearer picture of the data. The primary object is blue, but with some columns in various shades of blue to create a more instantaneous imprint of what data lies where. The secondary objects are set apart, and now are easy to tell apart from the opportunities at a glance. This can prove to be a huge advantage when there are large amounts of data in both the primary and secondary objects.

When could we use this?

Here are some ways you can use column coloring to your advantage in your org.

  • Drawing attention to key fields. By putting stand-out color on a few key fields, it can serve as a reminder to users which fields are the most important. Even if they do not consciously remember why it’s colored, the very fact that it is colored will make it stand out in their minds, and draw the eye.

  • Drawing attention to the embedded page. The same principle can apply to grids embedded into a record page. By making your grid a different color, it instantly stands out amongst the white background and black text of Salesforce.
  • Instant recognition between tabs. If you have multiple grids set up in a series of tabs, you can apply a different set of colors to each grid in each tab. For instance, the first tab is shades of green, the second is shades of orange, etc. This can again help the brain to instantly sort out what is being looked at, providing an instant reminder.

  • Grouping columns. By bunching certain columns together and applying a series of color to each group, it will again help guide the mind. Some examples:

    • Group by when they should be filled out, e.g. one group for fields needed at Prospecting, another group for fields needed at Proposal, etc.

    • Group by type according to need, e.g. grouping for address fields, grouping multiple date fields together, grouping contact information

  • Breaking up the flow. Sometimes a little bit of variation can make the whole thing easier to read. By applying slightly different shades of the same color to different columns, the eye tracks each column more easily, reducing the stress on the brain. Try alternating two slightly different colors every column or two.

Conditional Formatting

This option is one of the most powerful tools in an Excel user’s arsenal, and it is also a part of GridBuddy as well. Conditional Formatting gives you the option to highlight specific data with specific colors if that data matches certain criteria. Let’s take a look at an example:

casescolor.png

Here, any case that has a Priority of “High” is marked in green, and any case that has a Priority of “Low” is marked in red. This serves to make these cases stand out amongst the rest. The effect is less subtle, but this is by design; you almost always want this kind of data highlighting to really stand out.

When could we use this?

Here are some ways you can use conditional formatting to your advantage in your org.

  • Drawing attention to missing data. One does not just have to highlight data; you can also highlight where there is NO data. Blank text fields, unset picklists, empty date fields can all be highlighted just as easily. For example, this can be used on leads to show missing conversion data, or on opportunities to show missing forecast data.
  • Drawing attention to high-value deals. Opportunities with particularly high values need more attention, so you should take advantage of anything you can do to help prevent those deals from slipping through the cracks. By highlighting deals over a certain amount, these will always get the attention they deserve.
  • Drawing attention to overdue items. When records such as tasks or project milestones have due dates, those dates are often set for a reason. Highlighting a date field where the date is “less than today” will set these overdue records apart from the rest of the herd.
  • Highlighting records that fall on holidays. It is not uncommon for date fields to be set by some kind of automation, such as setting a date 30 days after creation. If this automatic date gets set on Christmas, it’s almost certain to be invalid. If it gets set on a more innocuous company holiday, like President’s Day, it’s just as invalid, but much less likely to be caught. Setting each company holiday as a highlight will prevent this from happening.

Of course, because both of the above solutions use CSS, you’re not limited to just coloring the grid spaces. You can set whatever CSS allows, including changing the font, the font size, the font color, the spacing around the text, or even make it bold, italicized, and/or underlined. Set up whatever you feel it takes to get your data looking the way you want it!

For further information on the technical steps to set these solutions up, check out our technical reference document.

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