The Device Designer.

The Device Designer is a tool in Tableau Desktop that will allow the dashboard developer/designer to customise the appearance and content of a dashboard on different devices, such as mobile phones or tablets.

The Designer can be accessed from the top of the dashboard layout pane:


Some key considerations to bare in mind for the Device Designer:

  • The sheets you use on the default dashboard will be the only ones you have available in the layouts (we’ll show you a way around this later in this article)

  • You can currently have only one dashboard layout of each type: Default, Desktop, Tablet and Phone. This does mean that although you can design for a specific device it is best to think of these different layout types as being the default layout for a device type rather than a layout for a specific device.

  • The resolutions offered for the non-default device types are fixed and cannot be changed. The orientation can be changed from portrait to landscape and vice versa. And deciding on the orientation of the layout will be an important choice for the dashboard developer to make.


With this in mind we will work through a particular example transforming one particular exec overview from the example workbooks into a phone layout:


The changes we are going to make to the above are:


  1. Keeping only the top 3 key metrics, Sales, Profit, and Profit per order.

  2. Moving to a more vertical layout. To better fit how people hold phones.


Our first task is to set up the version of the metric sheet that contains just the three metrics that we want on the view:


We then can bring this on to the default view (such that we can use it later in the phone layout) as a floating object:


To hide this from the default view we can re-locate this floating object using the layout tab to a place that it could not be seen.:



In this case we have moved the view to left by 2000 pixels, here it will never be rendered on the dashboard.

Now we can build the phone view, we select the device preview from the layout pane, and then using the controls shown above the dashboard select a generic phone layout:



We then re-arrange the available space moving it to the vertical layout:

Then we can create the layout using the add layout button

Our next step is to fit the dashboard to the layout to the width of the new layout (if the fit is not set automatically), this is done by setting the size in the layout pane:


Now we can arrange the dashboard as required:

If your ‘hidden view’ was not placed onto the dashboard you can move it back to the dashboard using the layout tab, or you can remove and re-add the view using the layout section of the dashboard pane.


Building views tailored to devices is incredibly useful to ensure the best possible experience of dashboard users on all devices. Though it should be noted that the device will be most accurately detected by users using the Tableau Mobile App.


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