Working on a revenue piece where I have to show current YTD ( Year to date ) performance with last year’s YTD and the total revenue last year for a specific product.

The below image shows the current design. User tests suggest that majority users are confused and it does not serve the purpose of quickly glancing over how their products are performing. enter image description here

The issue with the ideal scenario is that, I don’t have a lot of vertical space to work with. And the same bullet graph needs to be used again to be consistent with overall design. Some cases might use multiple graphs stacked.

enter image description here

I tried working with Bullet graphs and although they look like a decent solution, they kind of mess up at the end of year. I mean it still works and maybe that is the solution, but I’m not entirely convinced.

image description

Would like to know if anybody faced similar issue and found a solution. Thank you.

1 Answer 1


What matters in bullet charts of this nature is to give an indication to the business user that things are as expected or need to be examined more carefully (whether for good or bad).

One question that needs to be asked is - does the data need to be displayed or could a rollover, or "Display Data" work?

If all the data is required I would recommend removing the YTD'18 and left align the data to make it more scanable.

A minor issue would be to make the headings in Sentence Case as opposed to CAPITAL LETTERS. Convertibles, as shown below, is more readable than CONVERTIBLES

See below:

enter image description here

In addition I would highly recommend showing the users an example without all the data. It's cleaner and far more scannable especially on a busy, cluttered screen. If they want to see additional data let them select the "Display Data" toggle and to display the YTD values.

enter image description here

  • I like your idea. I'm just a bit concerned about the end of year situation in such graphs. The ytd represented by color will eventually overlap FY during bullish years, making it unreadable. But I like the idea to keep it clean with no numbers.
    – Nodnin
    Jan 30, 2018 at 15:25
  • 1
    You're correct regarding bullish years. A variation on a theme would need to be created for that eventuality. Perhaps using a change in opacity. The portion which the current year passes the old year will be slightly lighter as if the gray (in the previous year) made the color darker than it otherwise would haven been.
    – Mayo
    Jan 30, 2018 at 16:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.