Anaplan UX design top tips collection and references

edited June 2023 in Blog

Author: Alessio Pagliano, Certified Master Anaplanner and Manager - Solutions Architect at Spaulding Ridge.

The purpose of this short article is to provide a collection of design top tips and references relevant to the user experience.

Have you ever faced one or more of the following challenges during your implementations?

  • Lack of understanding on usability requirements.
  • UX inconsistency across models and use cases.
  • Enhancements focused on functionality rather than UX.
  • UX design based on “classic dashboarding.”
  • Issues with model deployment and user adoption.
  • Poor users’ feedback on usability.

Over the years I had to create various presentations and lead/facilitate workshops with various stakeholders on this topic, often with some supporting slides. This article is a short download of two key areas followed by my favorite resource collection.

Usability pillars

Designing your solution with good usability in mind is crucial and involves considering the five quality components that define usability.

Allow the required time to conduct usability testing, get to know how users will react to your product. This way you will allow very valuable feedback that can help improve your product before release.

To maintain the appropriate balance between deliverables and timeline, it's essential to manage expectations and prioritize the backlog.

  1. Learnability: To what extent can users accomplish fundamental tasks effortlessly when they encounter the design for the first time?
  2. Efficiency: How rapidly can users complete tasks after acquiring familiarity with the design?
  3. Memorability: How easily can users regain their proficiency when returning to the design after a period of inactivity?
  4. Prevent errors: What is the frequency and severity of user errors, and how effortlessly can they recover from them?
  5. Satisfaction: How user-friendly is the design in terms of user experience?

UX principles

According to recommended best practices and working experience, these are four key principles and relevant guidance that should be considered for designing usable dashboards/pages.

  • Focus on user persona. Identify goals and pain points through a customized experience.
    • Identify goals.
    • What do they need to accomplish?
    • What questions do they need to answer?
    • What problems do they need to solve?
    • What data do they need?
    • Where do they need to focus?
  • Build for action. Provide clear direction: system status, inputs, levers, outputs, and comments.
    • Follow the business process.
    • Group like content together.
    • Display what users need to do.
    • Cleary highlight Inputs and relevant impacts.
    • Provide users ability to provide feedback and insight.
  • Data optimization. Provide progressive disclosure information.
    • Distinguish between KPIs (main vs information).
    • Provide targets and compare against planned KPIs.
    • Color code data requiring action.
    • Most important data first.
    • Simple and decluttered.
    • Balanced user filters.
  • Screen optimization. Provide clear direction: Provide clear direction: system status, inputs, levers, outputs, and comments.
    • Avoid horizontal scrolling.
    • Minimize vertical scrolling.
    • Keep data input and feedback within view.
    • Account for mobile design if needed.

My favorite resources

This is my favorite list of go to videos, articles, and best practices related to the UX:

What quick tips or links would you add ?

Would a specific collection of sketches for Pages be a valuable community content? Perhaps for various use cases / user personas?


  • Fletch

    Thanks Alessio for the article, I find getting the dashboarding right is really important to gain user adoption and getting the user input and requirements in early is really important, but sometimes this can be challenging as users don't necessarily know what they actually what to see!! Take Care!!

  • Nice compilation. Thanks for sharing the views

  • Imoleayo

    Wow, @Alessio_Pagliano what a fantastic article! You nailed it: user adoption hinges on how well we design our dashboards as noted by @Fletch . That’s why we need to involve our users from the start and understand their needs. But that’s easier said than done, right?

    "Allow the required time to conduct usability testing, get to know how users will react to your product." This is super important too.