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  • Oscar Martinez (Valerock)

Wireframing in Power BI



What is wireframing?

Wireframing is the process of creating a low-fidelity prototype of a Power BI report and Dashboard. This can be done with various tools, such as pen and paper, or general-purpose and specialized software.

Wireframing aims to get a general sense of the layout, hierarchy, and flow of a Power BI report or dashboard before investing time and effort into designing and building it. This can be especially useful when working with stakeholders to gather feedback on the dashboard or report’s overall structure.

Wireframes can be as simple or as complex as needed but should always be created to simplify and clarify the Power BI report or Dashboard design process.

Benefits of wireframing:

  • Visualize how the different elements of your dashboard will fit together

  • Help in the identification of any potential problems with the layout early on in the development process

  • Creation of user flows and interactive prototypes

What’s NOT wireframing?

Wireframing is not about creating a final product. Generally speaking, a wireframe is not about making things look pretty or adding in all the bells and whistles.

The wireframing process.

When wireframing a Power BI business intelligence dashboard, it is important to follow a defined process to ensure success. The recommended process steps are as follows:

  1. Discovery call: the first step in the process and is used to gather information about the project requirements and goals. As a rule of thumb, this should be around one hour call where the user shows us the current reports and data sources. Here we try to understand as best as we can the needs and wishes of the end-user.

  2. Wireframing workshop: this is all about the “vision.” Incorporating what we know from the previous meeting, we start sketching and creating wireframes with the business users. This helps to get a general sense of the layout, hierarchy, and flow of the dashboard before investing time and effort into designing and building it.

  3. After the wireframing phase is complete, feedback and revisions are solicited from stakeholders to ensure that the dashboard meets their needs.

  4. Once all feedback has been incorporated, the final wires are created and the Power BI dashboard is ready for use.

Wireframe tools

There are a variety of tools that can be used for wireframing Power BI reports and Dashboards. The most important part is finding the right tool that works best for you and your team. Some common tools for wireframing include:

  • Pen and paper

  • General purpose software such as Microsoft PowerPoint

  • Specialized software such as Balsamiq or Figma

Pen and paper

Pen and paper can be a great way to quickly sketch out your ideas for a Power BI report or Dashboard. It’s a quick and easy way to get your thoughts down on paper without worrying about the details.

One downside of using pen and paper is that it can be difficult to make changes or revisions once the wireframe is complete. This means that you may need to start from scratch if there are significant changes that need to be made.

PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint can also be used for wireframing Power BI reports and Dashboards. While it’s not as specialized as some of the other tools, it’s still a great way to get a general sense of how your report or Dashboard will look. PowerPoint has a variety of shapes and connectors that can be used to create basic wireframes.

  • Use simple shapes and lines to create the layout of your report or dashboard.

  • Use layers to control the visibility of different elements.

Figma

Figma is specialized software for wireframing Power BI reports and Dashboards. It is designed to make the process quick and easy, with various shapes and connectors that can be used to create basic wireframes.

One of the benefits of using Figma is the ability to create interactive prototypes. This can help get feedback from stakeholders early on in the development process. With Figma, you can create a prototype that looks and feels like the final product, which can help to get everyone on the same page.

Figma also offers several features that can help with collaboration. You can invite others to view and edit your prototypes, which makes it easy to get feedback and make revisions.

 


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