Lately I have been thinking a bit about report design and how to make reports look great without writing lots of line drawing code. Being a sports fan I have always thought sports sites do a good job making great looking reports. Personally, I couldn’t be happier about the Utah Jazz and their 12-1 start especially with a nice win at home against the Lakers. ESPN has a good looking format for the box score that can easily be created inside Access 2007 without writing code.
There are a few things I like about this report that makes it graphical and readable.
· Conditional formatting to match the team colors in the team header
· UPPERCASE the team name and inverse the color
· Alternate row color breaks up the rows
· Horizontal and vertical gridlines makes it easy to follow row headings downward
· Totals solid color and bold face make them stand out a bit without being overbearing
· The tabs across the top are a subtle effect that make it easy to navigate between reports
· I like how they use font size to draw out the final score (this is particularly helpful when I’m watching from across the room)
· The drop shadow along the page edge gives it a nice touch
· You have to love how the AJAX updating of data without a page refresh
I spent a few minutes this morning bit twiddling with a report in our Projects template to see how hard it was to replicate it in Access. It took about ½ hour but here is what I came up with: