A perennial problem with filters: how do you make your users aware they are there ? How do you wrench their eyes away from the marks and headers and over to the filters on the right?
To fix this, I stumbled across another potential method: replace the Column Headers with Filters. I say stumbled because I wasn’t consciously trying to solve the problem when I implemented it. It’s only afterwards that I realised what I’d done!
What’s the advantage of doing it this way?
- People are looking at the top left of your chart, so they are more likely to register that they can filter the dimensions.
- It’s a cleaner view. The top banner is freed to have just my dashboard title. The right hand side doesn’t have that unusual blank space beneath the filters.
To implement this, it was simply a case of floating the filters over the column headers. For a design aspect, I ensured they were the same width as the columns in the view itself. I also tweaked the colours to bring attention to the dropdown itself.