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Hey, I Made Some New Tables!

I've shared in a few places that over the years, I've developed a report template that gets to to the good stuff faster.

If you're reading this, you've probably already seen my template, but on the off chance you haven't, my report model works like this:

  • Opening Paragraph

  • Bullet List of Diagnoses

  • Summary/Impressions Strengths, Vulnerabilities, Impact of Profile, How to Best Support Child

  • Recommendations By domain, e.g., Medical, Educational, Therapeutic Services, At Home, Resources

  • Relevant History In modified table format, with headings on the left and domains on the right (see example picture below)

  • Current Info Also by domain, in modified table format

  • List of Tests Administered

  • Behavior Observations Also by domain, in modified table format

  • Tables with Embedded Test Interpretations

Here are a few pictures of what that looks like, using entirely fictional information:

This model works really well for me. It increases clarity and readability, and dramatically reduces my time spent writing. However, like any report template, it does come with drawbacks.

One of the drawbacks is that -- due to my own limitations in graphic design skills -- my reports are not very "pretty". My tables especially bother me, as they can be visually busy and hard to read.

I asked Wix for pictures of a "mess" and the only option that came up was this. Picture this, but in table form.

For 2020, I set a goal of developing prettier tables. One of the amazing perks of providing consultation to assessment psychologists about report-writing is that I get to see a lot of report templates that are visually beautiful. Perhaps it's silly to be envious of others' beautiful tables, but that's the kind of nerd I am.

Using all these beautiful tables I've seen as inspiration, I've created new tables for my 2020 report template. Here's a screenshot of what my new tables look like:

(Usually there are about 4-5 pages of these tables. The tables above use entirely fictional data so don't try to do the math, but hopefully you get the idea.)

Changes I've made include:

  • Removing most horizontal internal borders

  • Removing the left and right outside border

  • Adding a new color (blue test name) for visual 'pop'

  • Equalizing margins, increasing font size a little, and adding more white space

  • Only noting scores that are elevated for rating scales and a few other tests (e.g., in the picture above, for the CPT-3 and BRIEF-2, you can see I only noted scores are elevated)

I'm sharing my new tables here because these are still a work in progress. It's a lot of information to share in a small space. Balancing readability, universal design principles, and ease of writing is a tall order, and I don't expect this to be the final iteration.

In fact, I'd love to hear suggestions or ideas from all you amazing people, especially those of you with pretty tables and mad graphics skills. Anyone have some tables you really love, and that you'd be willing to share with me?

Almost, Wix.

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1 Comment

April Krowel
April Krowel
Jan 23, 2022

I love these tables. I imagine it will take more time to get these right in my own templates but they are user friendly and aesthetically pleasing. Thank you for sharing!

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