Step 3 - Apply SHARC Framework
Communicative Pie Chart
Use a communicative pie chart with SHARC to navigate viewers through specific data about parts of a whole.
For example, apply the SHARC framework to highlight the percentage of people in Boston who prefer swimming next to walking and other exercise.
Note: By including all data, the chart can still be exploratory for the viewers and gives context.
- Be specific in naming the data you want to highlight within the dataset.
Axes labels
- Provide lables to each slices next to them.
Apply SHARC Framework
Don'ts - Hierarchy
The title and supporting elements imply all data and details have equal weight. For communicative, state your data story and use supporting elements to create a visual path.
Do's - Hierarchy
The title clearly states a data story to follow. Guide viewers from most important to supporting details through font size and boldness and choice of colors (see Color).
Don'ts - Scale
The slices don’t add up to 100% here. Most likely, the survey would have allowed multiple choice. In that case pie chart is not the right choice.
Do's - Scale
When presenting parts of whole, make sure all parts visually add up to 100%.
Don'ts - Readability
When visual clutter dominates the chart, viewers can spend more time trying to visually organize the clutter than interpret the data. Avoid 3D charts as they are generally found to be hard to read.
Do's - Readability
By clearing visual clutter, using simple, sans-serif fonts, and simple visual elements (no 3D or drop-shadows, for example). the viewer can easily focus on the data.
Don'ts - Color
By having several competing colors in the chart, the viewers attention does not follow the data story you are trying to tell. Additionally, using all bright colors is hard to look at.
Do's - Color
By using one bold color for the percentage that is important to the story, it has been highlighted and supports the title. Non-text contrast ratio of at least 3:1 is suggested for accessibility by WCAG 2.1. (See References & Resources > Accessibility & Color to learn more about color and accessibility.)
Don'ts - Axis
Choose the placement of section on 0 or 90 degree rule, not on personal preference.
Do's - Axis
Start at 0 degrees or 90 degrees.
Compare with Stacked Bar Chart
Stacked bar charts can be a good choice for comparing parts to whole. However, they are best suited if there is change over time and can be shown using multiple stacked bar chart.
Pie charts are good for comparing part to whole in a single instance.