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I have category pages, with a list of products inside each of them.

The category pages contain details on tests which have been conducted for each of the products, with some categories having up to 50 products, and some category pages only having 1/2 products.

The products undergo the same tests regardless of the category they fall under; and the outcomes and results are displayed across 3 different charts.

Given that every category shows the same 3 chart types — if a category doesn't have any results yet for 1 of the charts, would it be best to hide that chart? Or display an empty state explaining that there have been no results yet for that particular type of test?

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  • The question might be to think about what happens if a category doesn't have any results for all three of the charts, would you hide them all or display an empty state for each one of them.?
    – Michael Lai
    Commented May 6, 2023 at 23:30

3 Answers 3

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Not sure what you mean by an empty state, but charts can take up a lot of screen space, so if you mean an empty chart, then no - this isn't adding any value to the user. If there's no chart data then a short, simple message explaining 'No test results' should be shown. I would also consider:

  • If you know when test results would be available, tell the user
  • If you can tell the user that there are no test results before they get to that level in the site, to save them loading the page.
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I think you can hide the chart if you want to win space, but replace it with a small message like "No data yet".

The use of empty states can be useful if you have space (for exemple in a layout with a category = a column). If it's the 1st or the 2nd chart you can't display, it can be interesting to keep the space to compare easily the different charts through categories (if it's needed).

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Are the results useful before all the types of data are collected?

If not, nothing is really achieved by hiding the empty charts, as the most important thing to communicate is "not ready yet".

If it's already useful with only one chart having data, should you maybe offer showing / hiding charts in general, not only when the others are empty?

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