Step 3 - Apply SHARC Framework
Small Multiples
Communicative Small Multiples
Use a communicative small multiples chart with SHARC to navigate viewers through a specific slice of data across different categories on the X and Y axes.
For example, apply the SHARC framework to highlight the life expectancy of Saskatchewan compared to other provinces of Canada between 1970 and 2010.
- Be specific in naming the data you want to highlight within the dataset.
Axes labels
- Provide a label for both the  X and Y axes.
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.
Don'ts - Scale
Don’t change the scale as it would make comparison difficult.
Do's - Scale
Keep the scale the same across small multiples.
Don'ts - Readability
The font size used for the axes label is too small, which makes it difficult to read. Smaller font size makes it illegible on some of the platforms.
Do's - Readability
Make sure to use at least 12 px (9 pt) font size to make the text more readable for desktop. Read more about accessibility in our resource section. 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
There is not enough contrast between the grid and the lines, effectively making grids invisible. Without the grid it becomes difficult to compare data across the groups.
Do's - Color
There is enough contrast between the grid and the lines. The grid makes it easy to compare data across different groups. Non-text contrast ratio of at least 3:1 is suggested for accessibility by WCAG 2.1. (See Resources for color accessibility sites.)
Don'ts - Axis
Make sure that the grid cells share the same quantitative domains, in this case from 65 - 75.
Do's - Axis
Try to create the reference lines and scales which cover most of the categories, few exceptions would be fine. For eg. in this case, Saskatchewan goes out of the reference lines
Compare with Line Chart
Categorical comparisons across a dataset can be difficult as all the line charts are presented together.
A Small Multiples chart shows different categories of a dataset. This makes the comparison easier to read.