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Tableau Design

When designing data visualizations you should preplan how you will use color, captions, titles and more to share complex information.

Before you begin, consider where and how you will be publishing the dashboard. How you publish the dashboard affects user interactions and functions:

  • Linking to a dashboard in Tableau Public or Tableau Server
  • Embedding a dashboard in a webpage that is published to Tableau Public or Tableau Server

Depending on which scenario you’re using, it’s important to test each user experience.

To bring up an accessible data table, if the developer has allowed access to the date focus is on the chart or graph, the user can simply:

  • select the enter key twice (recent versions of Tableau) or
  • use ctrl+shift+enter

This can be done repeatedly after each filter selection. Providing a similar user experience as viewing the visual with the filter applied. Audible instructions for accessing the data tables is available to a screen reader user. Tableau developers should make these instructions available on the dashboard for all other users.

Tips for accessible Tableau design


  • Use color checkers for accessibility.
  • Limit the number of colors.
  • Use colors with high contrast to make important information stand out.
  • When using color in a view you must also use other types of encoding such as labels, size, shape, or position.


Use captions that are informative to describe the visualization. The default caption might not always be informative.


Always include dashboard, worksheet, filters, and legend titles. Edit the default title text to provide more context and description.


For people using assistive technology, the form control (filter) labels use the underlying data source. Be sure the data source has clear names and roles assigned to all columns and rows. To prevent filters from changing before the user has made all their selections, use the “Show Apply button” on custom filters with multiple choices. Do not use parameters as filters.

Find these tips and more when you  review the Tableau Design Guide for Accessibility.

What to Learn Next

Testing Tableau

Accessibility testing early and often is important for a successful project. Testing should use multiple tools, keyboard, and possibly a screen reader. Find information on how to do accessibility testing for your project.

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