The project is not related to baking directly but it is related to user payments and orders. Users can place orders and pay for the orders online. Post login, user lands on main dashboard, where pending orders, dispatched orders and other macro level information is shown. Currently account balance is not shown in this dashboard. I strongly think that it should be shown even if its 0. Other says not to show if its 0. (Its because majority of users will have mostly balance as 0.) Any rationale supporting for any of the views above? what should be done here?

  • 4
    Lets hope its not related to baking :-)
    – cjds
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 18:49
  • Is there a specific group of users that will be working with Account Balances that you could treat separately? Commented Jun 13, 2015 at 0:41
  • You cannot show nothing. Either you show $0.00 or "Free" if it's a shop-like system
    – BlueWizard
    Commented Jun 13, 2015 at 16:38

3 Answers 3


You need to show the account balance when it is zero. If a user is using the account balance feature then they're going to get really confused if it disappears entirely.

They have no way of knowing that account balance is temporarily hidden just because it dropped to zero. They are going to spend some time hunting for their account balance and get really frustrated that they can't find it.

Also, your support personnel will most likely wind up getting calls from annoyed users who can't find their account balance.

  • 1
    This is the answer. It is just as important to know that your balance is $0 as it is to know it is $100.
    – philip
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 14:30
  • 6
    In fact, since an account balance of $0 means that the user most likely needs to take corrective action, it is more important to know that your balance is $0 than it is to know it is $100. Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 23:44

Show it if it's ever been nonzero.

There are two competing considerations: don't hide valuable information from the user, but don't overwhelm new users with information that they are unlikely to understand. Putting these together reveals a third option: show the account balance if and only if it has ever been nonzero. This way, you progressively reveal features to the user, such as the fact that accounts have balances, without hiding information from users who already ought to understand balance. Users who have only ever used (say) the free tier of your service end up with a cleaner dashboard, while a user of paid services sees the zero balance as a signal to top up her account.


I suggest that instead, you make the account balance stand out when it's zero. Mark it red, maybe make it big. Additionally, your program should be kind enough to point out whether the balance is, or will come out to be, zero when the clicks "buy" or "add to cart."

  • 1
    While it's important to let the user know when they've reached zero, making it big and red it is a bit harsh.
    – Alan
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 19:27

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