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Solution Design Light Bites

5 Reasons Why Reporting Design is Like Baking

I love to bake. In fact, I find it very therapeutic after a long day and see it as a great way to escape from my normal reality.  However, as I was baking my favorite chocolate fudge cake the other day, I was thinking about the similarities between reporting design and baking. Yes, these thoughts really do go through my head!

While your appetite grows thinking about the cake, you are probably thinking what are the similarities?

  1. First, it is always a good idea to start with WHAT you want to make and for WHOM

With good reporting design, it is really important to spend some time understanding what is needed for which users so the end result will prove useful for your audience. Design with the end in mind!


  1. It is well advised to have a good RECIPE and understand what STEPS need to be followed carefully, and which can be more experimental

Creating a plan to work from is also key in good reporting design.  Understand the steps that need to be followed and what needs to be produced and in what order.

As part of this process, it can also help to identify those areas where strict guidelines are to be followed, compared to where flexibility and imagination can flourish.


  1. Ensure that you have all the right EQUIPMENT and INGREDIENTS before you start; and the better the quality of ingredients, the nicer the result

You can plan all you like but if you don’t have the data, information, metrics, chart types, and reporting tools needed, then you are not going to be able to achieve the desired outcome.

Check the ‘fridge’ (review your data) before starting, to ensure need matches availability. And remember, the quality of input will be reflected in the quality you get out.


  1. Don’t forget to think about PRESENTATION

It has been said that how something looks is as important as what is in it.  I certainly believe that this is true to some extent, especially during the acceptance stage. So ensure that the visualizations are relevant and engaging, making the consumer hungry for more.


  1. The proof is in the EATING

If you have spent the time and followed the right steps with the right information and reporting ingredients, then the likelihood is that you will have created a recipe for successful reporting design that is consumed and used by all. YUM!

Please join us for more insight on reporting and dazzling dashboard design at CXFusion!

(The Solution Design Team will be delivering a workshop on ‘Effective Dashboard Design’ Monday at 2pm at CXFusion.  And like any good Bake Sale, we will be giving away nice prizes to the most popular ones!)