Introducing improved online/offline flows in Tableau Mobile
Having access to your data while on the go is important for making decisions at the speed of business. But as a Mobile user, you may not always be able to connect to Tableau Server or Tableau Online—perhaps you’re on a plane or visiting a customer site where a network connection may be unavailable. Fortunately, Tableau Mobile provides offline access to all the interactive dashboards and views that you save as a Favorite. These downloaded vizzes are called Previews.
Today, we’re excited to announce that we’re introducing a change in the way that Tableau Mobile shows these previews to create a more seamless and intuitive experience—both when the device is connected and when it’s not.
When the device is connected to the server
Current connected experience
Up until now, when you launch a favorite view, the preview loads quickly with limited interactivity, and displays a ‘Go Live’ button.
Tapping ‘Go Live’ initiates a server request, and you’ll see a spinner while the view is calculated. You will be switched to the view once it is rendered.
We thought this flow would work well for the majority of cases. The preview loads quickly and with sufficient interactivity—you can clearly see the data (pan, zoom, and scroll), tap any mark to see a tooltip, and see highlighted actions when a mark is tapped. Only when you attempt to change a filter value does the app warn that a server connection is required, and instructs you to tap ‘Go Live’.
However, in the real world, we have observed that the majority of people tap ‘Go Live’ immediately. If the server is connected, they just want to see the latest version of the interactive dashboard.
New and improved connected experience
We want to reduce friction in your workflow so you can use the previews in a more helpful way. Now, when you tap on a view from Favorites, we show the preview immediately. We also make the server request for the latest view and load it in the background. There is no ‘Go Live’ button—instead, a banner message lets you know that the latest view is loading. If you haven’t interacted with the preview, the app transitions seamlessly to the latest view when it has loaded, and the banner disappears.
With this flow, you see the preview immediately, while the latest view loads in the background—all without experiencing a spinner. Once the latest view is available and you haven’t interacted with the preview, you will be switched to it automatically.
If the latest view is taking a few seconds to load, you can opt to interact with the preview by scrolling or tapping. When this happens, we don’t automatically transition to the latest view—we don’t want to disrupt your flow. Instead, we added a button to the banner. The latest view, that has already loaded in the background, is surfaced when you tap ‘See Latest View’.
When the device is not connected to the server
Current offline experience
Up until now, when you launch a view, the preview loads with limited interactivity. The Go Live button is presented as an option—even if the device is disconnected and can’t go live.
When you tap the Go Live button, Tableau Mobile attempts to contact the server but fails and displays an error message.
In this case, you benefit from having the preview available immediately, even when offline. But you may not know that the device is disconnected—so tapping ‘Go Live’ and getting an error message is not the greatest experience.
New and improved offline experience
Now, if you’re not connected, the banner reports that the app cannot load the latest view and offers you a button to see the reason. Tapping ‘See Error Details’ shows an error page explaining there is no server connection.
In this case, you can continue to see and interact with the preview, but without a potentially confusing ‘Go Live’ button on the screen.
With these new flows, you’ll transition seamlessly to the latest view when connected—without having to ever see a spinner or tap a button. Plus, you can interact with the dashboard while the latest view is loading. And when you’re offline, the new flow shows the available preview without a confusing Go Live button.
We hope these changes make using Tableau Mobile a faster and more pleasant experience for all. Download the latest version of the Tableau Mobile App to enjoy this new experience—available on both Apple Store and Google Play. If you have ideas for how we can improve Tableau Mobile, check out the Ideas Forum.