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This company has two different customer types and they all have two different kind of contracts. The aim here was to show all the contract prices in the same chart. As you can see I tried to map customer types with colors and contract types with patterns. As I was showing this around I saw that people couldn't understand this very easily and mostly confused about reading the legend correctly. Is there a way to show this data in a different format that might be more understandable, or maybe minor changes here that I can't see right now that will make reading this chart easier? Thank you.


The customers don't seem to need to be in order by number, so group the customers by type along the x-axis, so you can distinguish the customer type by position rather than colour. Then use colour (or keep using texture if you like) to distinguish the contract type.

So customer type goes from colour --> position

And contract type goes from texture --> colour

two series bar chart, separated by customer type

  • This is probably the best way to go thank you! – sarp Mar 5 at 8:29

Your approach looks in the right direction, but I guess the confusion is due to a visual overload. If you ask the user to think too much - it generally leads to confusion.

Here's a suggestion -

  1. In terms of graph readability, there's only one thing to focus on, contract prices.
  2. Customer type is shown as a separate block and does not interfere.
  3. It's expected that the user will read it as - Type A, contract price X. The design attempts to map that mental model too.

You could think of adding dual-colored user icons, instead of mentioning the customer types too in the blocks, but being direct if possible, helps to reduce the cognitive load.

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Hope this helps!

  • This really helps thank you! – sarp Mar 5 at 8:29

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