One of the really big changes in Microsoft's upcoming Office 2007 Excel 12 release is, of course, the big change in graphics. We've shown a couple of beta excel dashboards featuring the slick new look and feel.
Have you ever wondered at how Microsoft comes up with these graphic styles? They have a user preference testing program in place to poll knowledgeable users for their opinions on the User Interface and Graphics.
Here are some screenshots of a recent survey that was sent out to the testers. Thanks to The Dashboard Spy who sent them along for us dashboard enthusiasts to pore over. Note the final screen. As a thank you for taking the 20 minute survey, the participant is entered into a drawing for a $500 cash prize.
If you are curious as to the look and feel so far for Office 2007 and you don't have the beta, check out these screenshots at this really good discussion of Excel's new charting engine.
Homework: The new Microsoft Office 2007 will be a big change. As I've been saying, the new Excel 12 will have a big influence on the look and feel of executive dashboards for years to come. Take a look at these books on Office 2007.
So what or who is The Dashboard Spy? As his about page states, The Dashboard Spy is just a guy interested in the design of enterprise dashboards. He could not find any executive dashboard design source books (or even screenshots of real business dashboards) and so set about creating his own. Finally convinced to post his extensive collection of dashboard screenshots online, he was amazed to find how popular it has become. If you have a nice screenshot of a digital dashboard, balanced scorecard, or any business intelligence graphic to share, please send an email to info _at_ dashboardspy.com. Also check out The Dashboard Spy's favorite books on business dashboards.