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Coloring Cell Blocks for Others to Enter Data
About this Tutorial
the person, the reader, or the input data inputter needs to work. For instance, here's a just. Example spreadsheet, like a little business model. Like we have some customers that we start some amount of customers and we want to know how many can we sell and how much revenue can we make? And we lose customers every, every month.
But we are, you know, getting some more than one widget, let's say, per customer. So just a little quick business model I put up. And. , as you can tell, our headers here are just months and then our inputs over here. And I don't know, just by seeing this, which ones I need to enter, like I, I can change. A lot of times will ourselves want to change some data and we want to just quickly go and change it and we'll forget we have to go to these cells and be like, oh yeah, these are all computed.
And these all four are something I can change. So how we would normally, like you may normally do this is maybe with a little bit of some borders up here. Maybe you. Some kind of border. And then you might even say like, okay, I, I can't really, maybe I can border all of this. And okay, I still need to tell someone like, oh, this is, these four are editable.
You might fill it with something like a yellow. That's really big difference. Green. What I have pretty much always used and I used this for like five years, is this blue, this particular blue. One of the reasons. Is no one chooses to use this color. You'll almost never use this color for headers.
Like doesn't look right here like this. Blue is like the least used color, yellow and green, orange and red. Even this darker blue have meaning, like red means danger, orange means undecided, yellow means warning, green means good. You even might already have used your Green here to, to highlight some results, right?
Like, this is actually, like, if we just take this away because no one ever uses this that, right? Like we don't need that color there. And as you can see, like my eye immediately is just going straight here and here, right? The, these inputs get these. , this is the results we want and these are the inputs we need to do.
Now, this is how I've done it for years, and I recommend if you don't do anything else, just do that really quickly. Absolutely. Just use this blue And I did this for about six months and then everybody got used to it in an office. Like just the blue means you can enter data there. But there's a, a, a slight problem with this is, if we have a bunch of colors.
, we might have a small idea that we can like, edit any color. We might have it, like the highlight is a little garish, it's a little like unseemly perhaps. Sometimes you wanna input your data but you also wanna take a screenshot of it or you wanna share it with someone outside the company and they just don't know what this means.
And so I've developed, Thing now is instead of doing this border around here, let's just take that off and instead of doing this garish blue, let's take that off. Go back to our custom. What I like to do is a border with the same color. Absolutely you can do the same color, and now the numbers, the text is the same, the contrast is the same, and we just have a sort of a subtle hint that we need to input this.
This is also based on how, you know, like. email, subscribe Buttons are, or like input data forms. A lot of forms are like this, where the border is highlighted for you and is the color that you need to do. And so that's sort of a better way to bring the eye. I mean, it doesn't get in the way. I don't, I'm like not staring at it.
I can also make it very thin. If everyone in your office is like, okay with this, you can make the style. Let's see the style. Much thinner. See, it's like very faint. You can even try the other styles. Like double or let's do home, you know? And, and that's like, okay, that doesn't get in the way. It still says I need input.
I can input these numbers, I can change them. And what's even more interesting is you can take this a step further and. Color code these, so like you can know, okay, anytime there's a colored border, it it ha I can e edit it. But like, for some reason, you know, like, this churn is bad. So like, maybe we wanna, we wanna say like, Hey, when you're editing this it, this means, this number means a bad thing, right?
Like this is a warning. You may want to put green in money results. I do that a lot with like business models. I'll do that. I'll change this to, let's say dark green and do this, do this all actually. Let's do a bright green cause that is very hard to see. And right now, now we still have the colors, we still have it color coded, but it's a lot smoother, a lot nicer.
Another thing is why these borders and this border is a nicer way to do this, is that sometimes our data inputs are in a table, but we just don't know. Like looking at this table here, it's a similar one where we're trying to figure out. And when you have these customers total, but what we need to input are these two rows here.
And, but without clicking on these, I don't know that. Right. And if I do, what I used to do, right, is this garish blue. It is a lot of cells and it's almost mostly this blue. But I really don't want the, like the eye, I don't want the eye when you're reading this, Go here. I just want the person who is responsibility is to input this data to know, to put it in there.
So that's why color coding, let's reset that color. Coding this as well is really, really nice. Much nicer to the eye. Let's do use this. be much nicer to the eye. I understand. If, if I had given, been given the idea of notion Blue is an input, then I would know this was where I would have to input. And one more thing you can do just to stylize it a little bit more is add messages.
So like if you do have some difference so you can.
Add this message here to this, you can say, Hey, this is costs and this is churn. Or like, you can say, churn is the percent lost, and you can make a note here. Do this. and now these two things are connected obviously only to people who are not colorblind. So that's one issue with this. But cost per widget is from last month cost, something like that.
Like if you need to give some type of information. If we had done the. Background, it would be re you would bring your eye here as well. So now we have these connected, it's out of the way. It's not so much harsh on the eyes. And the last thing you can do is use the border but also use sort of a lighter on the inside.
And that way if you really do need to give contrast to something and you wanna have the border, this is a much nicer input. And also this matches a lot of the modern. Input fields in HTML forms, we see we can, you know, mock mock those, no copy those to make it a nicer feeling here. Also, just to remind you, borders are going to be whatever the last one was.
So if I do this, now. That's it was. The last one we did was this blue and that was on top here, and now it's, it's black. You could always just give it a little bit of room here so that you can have both of those, all of that. and hopefully that that helps you give some, you know, nice eye hierarchy to people who are helping you out entering data, or you need to, you know, help them with something and you create all these formulas and you need them to enter all this data.
This is a much nicer way to do it than a blue highlight or not even telling them or, or even having to discuss. C3. Go to c3. Okay, c3. Now you can even tell them that and color it and give 'em two ways to find out the information they need to enter. That's it. Thanks so much. Bye.
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