Out of all design components, tables are undoubtedly one of the most fundamental ones. Almost every type of digital product, including web design, includes at least one table of data; and having this crucial element a bit wrong can contribute to some issues.
Therefore, knowing the proper method on how to design a data table is a marketable skill, particularly for UX designers. The following are some of the pro tips you can use as guidance in developing a user-friendly table that can help your web visitors find the information they require.
Choose the Most Suitable Row Style
Row style is one of the table design elements that allow users to parse, read, and scan through the table in a convenient manner. There are a number of row styles in which you can select as per the amount and type of your data.
Tables that come with an entire grid have a tendency to be visually crowded. That is why displaying horizontal lines only can help to reduce those visual noises. This row style uses a lot of white space whilst allowing the users to keep track of where they are in the table. If you are looking for a versatile row style, this one is your best bet.
This style includes both vertical and horizontal lines so that it can provide maximum distance between each data point. However, the visual noise generated might be overly distracting. This grid style is ideal for creating a data-heavy table.
This style helps you remove all the dividers so that you can achieve a minimalist design. It’s the most recommended spreadsheet style for small sets of data where users can remain in the same place with ease.
Adding multiple color backgrounds is another approach to create a user-friendly table. For huge data sets, this style can elevate the readability of the data.
Select the Ideal Visual Styles
Color and typography are two visual elements that contribute to the legibility of web tables. The usage of multiple colored backgrounds can lead to a more organized structure of a table.
Change the color of the row background in order to emphasize a difference in the entire data domain. You may also switch the color of the cell background to highlight the position of a data set.
While adding colors can assist viewers in learning the table, you should limit the use of colors in your data table. Incorporating too many colors will instead distract from the primary function of the table itself.
In addition to colors, typography can significantly affect the design of the data table. Its visual appearance can attract visitors, even if it’s not the central objective.
For choosing the correct typography, you simply need to go for simple fonts, don’t bold or italicize them, and don’t use caps lock when composing your content.
Make the Table Highly Customizable
It’s vitally important for you to emphasize the users’ flexibility in adding or editing several existing data to create highly user-friendly tables. If it’s not a top priority, you can allow users to simply utilize a modified action to organize specific rows based on their category.
Aside from that, allow readers to have full control over the appearance and order of the data they have access to has also proven to be effective in achieving a comprehensible table. To improve the customizability, consider integrating icons and color.
Provide Fixed Table Layouts
The drawback of a long table is that the readers will not see the column headings when they scroll down the page far enough. Without the capability to view the headers, users will have difficulty figuring out the information they are reading.
Fixed layouts resolve this issue for tables with massive data. You can either include a fixed header or column. With persistent headings, the column headings will always be in view. As visitors scroll the page vertically, the headers display the relevant information.
As for the fixed column, the identifying data will be set at the side of the table every time users scroll horizontally. This functionality provides clarity by keeping the visibility of the column identifier all the time.
The way people see data tables provided on your website is significantly influenced by the design you use. Making use of a ready-made table layout is one of the best approaches to creating a feasible data table, particularly if you have a lot of data to show.
Customization is no less critical for achieving a table that doesn’t require a considerable amount of effort to read and scan. Apply the design techniques above to your data tables. That way, the users are capable of finding the information they would like to know much more accessible.