How to Create Interactive Buttons in Looker Studio

Want to make your Google Looker Studio dashboard stand out from others?

Custom-designed buttons in Looker Studio are small yet powerful additions that, when implemented properly, could distinguish your dashboard apart from others and make it memorable to your users.

They can serve a variety of purposes, from aligning with a brand’s color to adding a unique touch to a data storytelling presentation.

While buttons in Looker Studio dashboards may seem like a negligible component, incorporating strategy and creativity into their design can greatly improve the user experience, keep users engaged, and make your dashboards interactive.

In this tutorial, we’ll look at how to create interactive buttons in Looker Studio. Don’t undervalue buttons as they are key dashboard enhancement features.

Here is an overview of what we’ll cover:

Let’s get started!

What Can Buttons in Looker Studio Do?

Buttons in Looker Studio allow you to include a call to action, point users to certain resources and even guide them through your funnels.

For example, we have an embedded Looker Studio dashboard on this webpage with a button that allows visitors to explore the data further and find their insights.

Call to action button in the embedded Looker Studio dashboard

Once clicked, this button opens the full dashboard on a separate page.

The full dashboard opened on a separate web page

Buttons can also help users better navigate through the pages of your report. Our example dashboard has multiple pages, and the page control is not very visible. Additional steps need to be made to get there.

First, hover over your dashboard to see the hidden menu bar at the bottom. Next, click on the arrow to show the page control.

Showing the page control for the embedded dashboard

Here, a list of the pages of your dashboard will show up.

List of the embedded dashboard pages

The effectiveness of this page control hinges on having clear and distinct page names for your dashboard, as well as on how easily users can understand and find the page they are looking for based on the page name alone.

To simplify this process, you can use navigation buttons. For this tutorial, we’ll introduce two types of navigation buttons in Looker Studio that you can implement on your dashboard.

The first type involves using a dedicated pane that lists the pages you would like to navigate to.

Navigation buttons in a dedicated pane

The other type involves multiple numbered pages and additional buttons for going to the previous and next pages.

Numbered navigation buttons

Buttons in Looker Studio can also be a helpful tool in highlighting key elements of your dashboard. To illustrate, let’s have a look at buttons with hover effects.

In our example dashboard, we have a black button with the text “Learn Analytics.”

Button with hover effect in the example dashboard

When we hover over this button, the look and color formatting of the button inverts.

Inverted color scheme hover effect

Buttons with hover effects like this are especially useful for dashboards with dark themes or are overcrowded with data. They also help differentiate what elements of the dashboard are clickable.

🚨 Note: If your client is using buttons with hover effects on their website, you may want to use them again for their dashboards so that you keep the brand’s design consistent across platforms.

Let’s get started with building a basic button.

How to Build a Basic Button

To build basic buttons in Looker Studio, we’ll start with adding a textbox.

In your Looker Studio account, go to the toolbar at the top and select Text.

Adding text to your dashboard

Insert this anywhere on your dashboard. Now, let’s format this text a bit.

First, type your text. Next, ensure that the text is selected, then change the font size to 28px and set the alignment to center. Finally, click on the Insert link button.

Formatting the basic button

Here, you’ll either paste in one of your links or select one of the pages of the report. For this example, we’ll select the page named Copy of Traffic. Click Apply.

Selecting the link for the basic button

Let’s add a border. Set the border color to black, and the border thickness to 4. Next, let’s preview this button by clicking View.

Editing the border settings of the basic button and previewing it

Great! We have successfully created a basic button.

Successful creation of a basic button

This is the same technique we need to use to build the pagination navigation buttons on one of our pages.

Pagination navigation buttons

There are, however, two issues with this technique of creating buttons in Looker Studio.

First, only the text link is clickable. When you hover the mouse over the other parts of the button within the border, you’ll see that the cursor remains the same – meaning you can’t click on these areas to open the link.

The unclickable area within the button

Next, the underline that appeared is probably something you want to remove.

Let’s resume editing our button by clicking on Edit.

Resuming editing the basic button

The underline can be easily removed by deselecting the Underline icon in the style tab.

Disabling the underline formatting

Before showing how to solve the issue of non-clickable spaces, let’s design the button further.

First, let’s change the background color to a red color from our theme chart palette.

Changing the background color of the basic button

Next, select the text and change the font color to white.

Changing the font color of the basic button

Next, you can also play around with the border’s radius to design your buttons further.

Scroll to the background and border section and change the border radius to 15.

Changing the border radius of the basic button

Great! We now have a button similar to the one that you’ve seen before.

Now, we have two options to solve the issue of non-clickable spaces. You can either reduce the button size so that there are fewer empty spaces between the text and the border or add an element on top that is the same size as the button.

For this tutorial, we’ll be using transparent images on top of the buttons to solve this issue.

Go to the toolbar and click on the image icon → Upload from computer.

Uploading an image from the computer

Deselect the Preserve Aspect Ratio option, then overlay and resize the image to the same location and size as the button.

Resizing the image to the same size as the button

Next, Insert an image link URL.

Inserting an image link URL

Select the same page as we used in our example earlier, then click Apply.

Selecting the same link as the basic button for the image

Finally, set the opacity of the image to 0%.

Setting the opacity of the image to zero

Now, the entire button can be clicked.

Let’s move on to creating navigation buttons in Looker Studio.

To build navigation buttons in Looker Studio, we’ll again start with using the text icon and use the same techniques we used earlier.

Insert and resize the textbox to the same width as the navigation pane.

Type the page name, change the font color to white, center the text, and change the background color to a blue-grey color from our theme color palette. Finally, click the Insert link button.

Formatting and adding a link to the navigation button

Select the page that is related to the text you’ve inputted. Next, click Apply.

Selecting the link for the welcome navigation button

Since we’ve inserted a link, the text will be reformatted to be blue and have an underline.

Set the font color to white again, then deselect the underline format.

Reformatting the navigation button after a link was inserted

Now, let’s create a copy of this button by right-clicking on it and selecting Duplicate.

Creating a copy of the navigation button

You could also use the keyboard shortcuts to do the same.

Drag the second button below the first one and type our page name. Next, set the background color to transparent.

Formatting the second navigation button

Ensure that you send your users to the right page. For this example, we have two pages, one to welcome the users and another one for traffic.

Set the link for this second navigation button to Traffic 2, then click Apply.

Selecting the link for the traffic navigation button

We need to reformat this button since we modified the link.

There may be instances where the formatting gets messed up. If this happens, simply refresh the page.

Refreshing the page due to a formatting error

Select the text again, change the font color to white, and deselect the underline format. The formatting should work this time.

Reformatting the traffic navigation button

Now we have successfully created navigation buttons in Looker Studio with the use of a navigation pane.

However, these buttons only exist on our current page. Once we go to another page, these buttons will no longer be displayed.

To remedy this, select both navigation buttons by holding down the CTRL key and copy them either by right-clicking and selecting copy or using the keyboard shortcut.

Next, go to the next page by clicking on the arrow on the toolbar.

Copying the navigation buttons and going to the next page of the dashboard

Simply paste the navigation buttons, placing them in the same location.

Here, reverse the background formatting of the two buttons, so that the traffic button has the contracting color, indicating that the users are on the traffic page.

Reformatted navigation buttons on the traffic page

Now, let’s get to learning how to build buttons in Looker Studio with a hover effect.

How to Build a Button with a Hover Effect

To build buttons with hover effects, we’ll need the help of HTML and CSS.

No need to worry if you’re not familiar with the markup language because there are plenty of resources online with pre-built buttons where you can just copy the code and use them here.

💡 Top Tip: The Creating CSS3 Button Hover Effects guide by HTML Form Guide is a great resource to check out. It provides a detailed explanation of how to build your code and also provides examples that you could try out.

To create buttons in Looker Studio with hover effects, we’ll need to utilize custom charts from the Google Looker Studio Community Visualizations.

Click on the Community Visualizations and Components button at the top of the toolbar → Explore more.

Importing charts from the community visualizations

Next, look for and select the Templated Record visualization.

Selecting the Templated Record visualization

Insert this anywhere on your dashboard, then go to the Style tab.

Inserting and styling the Templated Record visualization

Now, let’s add our HTML and CSS code. For your convenience, we’ll provide you the following code so that you will also end up with the same button.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
   <head>
      <style>
         .learn-more {
         background-color: black;
         color: white;
         border-radius: 30px;
         border: 2px solid black; /*Adds black border*/
         padding: 25px 35px;
         font-size: 20px;
         transition: background-color 0.2s ease;
         text-decoration: none;
         min-width: 100px; /*Adds a minimum width for the button*/
         display: flex;
         align-items: flex;
         justify-content: center:
         overflow: visible /*Makes sure the button is visible if it overflows*/
         }

         .learn-more:hover {
         background-color: white;
         color: black;
         cursor: pointer;
         }
      </style>
   </head>
   <body>
      <a href="https://measureschool.com" class="learn-more">LEARN ANALYTICS</a>
   </body>
</html>

Copy this code. In the HTML Template section, remove the default code and paste the above code here.

Pasting the code to the HTML template section

🚨 Note: Once clicked, the link that your button will lead users to is specified in the href attribute of the <a> element. If you’ll use this button type to navigate to other pages of your dashboard, then acquire a link for those pages and edit the href attribute accordingly. 

Now, there are two issues to be aware of when using the Templated Record visualization.

First, you may find that sometimes the button is cut off. To remedy this, make sure that you have the min-width line in the code for your buttons in Looker Studio.

💡 Top Tip: If you want to learn more on how to format CSS buttons, W3Schools provides a detailed guide breaking down each component that also provides examples of buttons with hover effects.

The next issue is something to keep in mind for any chart from the Community Visualizations.

When you’re using a dashboard that has buttons with hover effects and you’ve embedded them in a web page, you may be prompted with the following warning message.

Warning message from using the Templated Record visualization

Don’t worry, the button will still work, but your users may think your dashboard has an error if they do not click on the Proceed button to allow the use of this community visualization. So, this is something to keep in mind.

How to Build a Custom Button

The last button type we’ll create is custom buttons in Looker Studio. This type allows you to let your imagination go wild.

The button we’ll recreate is one with a phone icon, text, and a drop shadow effect.

The custom button to be recreated

Very simply, this button is an image that was originally built in Canva.

Custom button image in Canva

For custom buttons in Looker Studio, we’ll mostly format them as images and use the image link URL setting to convert them to clickable buttons.

If you’ve also built your button in Canva, crop the image close to the boundary of the button and download it as a transparent image. This is a feature of Canva Pro and if you’re only using the free version, we’ll teach you a trick to have an image with a transparent background.

First, download your image from Canva. Next, we’ll use a tool like Photopea to crop the image to the surrounding areas of the button.

Uploading the image to Photopea

Once we’ve successfully uploaded and cropped the image to the appropriate size, Click on FileExort asJPG or PNG.

Exporting the image from Photopea

Next, we’ll use another tool that can make the background of this image transparent. There are plenty of them online, but for this tutorial, we’ll use Remove.bg.

To use this tool, simply upload the image and it will automatically detect which part of the image is the subject and remove the background for you. The only thing left to do is to download the edited image.

Downloading the edited image from remove.bg

Upload this image to your Looker Studio dashboard and make sure that you’ve selected the one with a transparent background. Notice that by default, Looker Studio will set your image with a white background.

To remedy this, select the image and set the background color to transparent.

Changing the background color of the image to transparent

Resize the image to the appropriate size, then Insert an image link URL.

Inserting an image link URL for the custom button

Paste your link, then click Apply.

Specifying a link for the custom button

That’s how you build custom buttons in Looker Studio.

Summary

We’ve looked at various ways of creating interactive buttons in Looker Studio. We started with a basic button, then took it further with navigation buttons. Next, we customized our buttons by adding a hover effect and finally let our imagination go wild with custom buttons.

If you want your dashboards to stand out even further, try implementing these top 3 Google Looker Studio dashboard enhancements.

Which button type do you use most often? Have you discovered any interesting hover effects that make your buttons even more engaging? Let us know in the comments below!

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