Redesigning Power BI Formatting Pane

One of major issues in Power BI desktop app was its panes, there were multiple panes that have been designed in different times and each has their own pattern. It made onboarding and learning UI much harder for users. We decided to start by tackling the formatting pane to address this issue.

What Was the Problem?
Inconsistent patterns plus no organization and order made formatting for Power BI desktop a challenging task for users.
What Did I Do?
I was lead designer on this project, managed all communications between team members. I decided overall project flow and direction and collaborated with team to achieve these goal with less friction.
Who Did I Work With?
In this I worked with 2 program managers, 4 engineers, 1 researcher and 1 content designer.

How Did It Start?

I began by gathering all Power BI panes in one place and by comparing them side by side and presenting to stakeholders, I was able to convince them to start fixing this major issue in Power BI desktop app.

My responsibilities in this project were:
  • Responsible for end to end experience
  • Stakeholder interviews and collaborating with other teams
  • Gathering and documenting current issues
  • Brainstorming and ideation with team members
  • Collaborating with research team and preparing research materials
  • Finalizing designs and style guide
  • Defining guidelines and principles
  • Creating accessibility guidelines

Power BI Panes

As you can see in this picture each pane has a different functionality in Power BI and there isn't a consistent pattern across any of them

Inconsistent Styles

Each color in this image represents a different size padding/margin. Again another inconsistency in Power BI panes.

Inconsistent Structure

Not only the styles are inconsistent but also the structure of each pane is different, some has action bar, some don't. Some has empty state visual and some don't and ...

My Proposal

I proposed this idea to bring all these panes into one cohesive pattern and style. It would help users onboard Power BI easier and maintaining them cheaper.