We have a web application displaying some values on a bar chart (values shown are difference values: our product's performance vs all other products' performance).

Time to time value to be displayed is 0, which case no bar is shown and therefore it looks like missing data.

What's the best practice to indicate value is 0, not missing?

enter image description here

  • 3
    A thin line / border would be my preference. (Could also be applied to the top/bottom of the other bars, a slightly darker shade than the red or green of the rest of the bar.) Dec 13, 2021 at 13:36

1 Answer 1


You can try being clear with a label.

If users are accustomed to at-a-glance determinations of activity, you could just provide a subtle label along the Y axis:

enter image description here

If you go this route, you also might need to distinguish between no activity vs. missing data

Either way, you can test to see if this is clear enough for your user base.

  • "you also might need to distinguish between no activity vs. missing data" - "no activity" is not an option. 0 means "no difference" and it's a completely valid result, like any other number. Why I should display this information as text while all other values are displayed as bar? Dec 14, 2021 at 13:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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