Dashboard Sizing Best Practices

A long time ago, I created a top 10 design best practices and one of them was designing to 100% scale. This means when you build an SAP BusinessObjects Dashboard ( Xcelsius ) SWF the browser shouldn’t have to re-scale it. In doing so you ensure that the output always looks the same. If you are curious how to modify your dimensions go to File>Document Properties

I recently received a question about optimal canvas sizing, and in my presentation I stated that 900×600 is a good starting size. What I didn’t do was fully explain why… Here is the reason:

The reason I start at 900×600 is 600 pixel hieght will fit in most browsers at 1024×768 even with the many toolbars that people use (yahoo, msft, virus scanner, et). The good news is most browsers are getting toned down in header size, which means you can make SWFs taller. A lot of my dashboards now are at 650 pixels in hight, which will also work if there is no other content on the page. For the dashboard width you can go all the way to 1000 pixels, but I find that if I start with 900 I can always get bigger. If I start all the way around 1000 I find that I always need an extra 50 or so pixels.

What you do not want to do, is rely on your computer resolution to drive the dashboard size. I have seen many 1200×1080 dashboards which does impact the SWF size slightly and forces Flash player to do more work scaling the dashboard down into a much smaller resolution. The performance impact is not game changing but some of the undesirable. For example, I know text sizing and cutt off is probably the most visible result of scaling gone wrong.

Let me know what you do for sizing or issues you experience with scaling.

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