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Working on an analytics dashboard that allows the user to select a recent date range with the option to compare that date range against a previous time period.

Top Locations - Default

Now, let's say they want to see how this week compared with last week. This week, Australia was not in the top locations, but last week it was ranked 4th. Would you expect the UI to retain the current week's results in-tact and just show the changes within those results (like shown below)? Or would you somehow incorporate Australia into the layout? If the latter, any suggestions on doing so? (please disregard the math in the examples)

Top Locations - Compare

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Intuitively, I would expect the current list of "Top Locations" to remain in place and in the same order, but simply with an additional bar showing last week's values.

In the case of no data for the previous week, as in your description of Australia, add an empty bar to be explicit about the "emptiness" of last week's data, and maybe a short bit of info describing the data, or, if you feel it flows better, as a footnote.

Comparing recent data to past, but adding message explaining that a region was not part of last week's data set

(Still do keep the data on the right; I just didn't mock it up. Perhaps Australia's percentage change label is where the asterisk belongs to indicate that this data has an explanation.)


Also relevant, I would recommend considering using flat ends for your bars, specifically when comparisons are necessary. The rounded ends are more difficult to see how visually significant the difference in length is.

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  • Thank you for the suggestions. The original scenario was the inverse of what you have described. How would you handle it if Australia was NOT in the current week's results but was the previous week? Hopefully that is more clear. Also, appreciate the info about the round ends.
    – Rohrski
    Nov 12 '20 at 19:34
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    @Franklin-KC Ah, I understand now. The way I see it, the user is choosing to display additional data about the current list of top locations (i.e. "How do these current top locations compare to their status last week?"). Personally, I'd be expecting to only see details on the current top countries. I'm not sure in what context you're showing all of this, but maybe there's another place where more detailed historical trends might be more fitting. I see this as more of a summary of the current top locations, with the option to show their previous week's rank, but maybe I'm wrong. Nov 12 '20 at 19:40

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