Step 3 - Apply SHARC Framework
Exploratory Box plots
Use an exploratory box plot with SHARC so viewers can explore a summary and comparison of datasets measured on an interval scale.
For example, you can use box plots if you want to show the central value, variability,
and range of average time spent per week by the students on homework across schools.
- Be specific in naming what the dataset is.
Axes labels
- Include a label for X and Y axes
Anatomy details
1. Outliers
2. Lower Adjacent Value
3. Lower Quartile/25th Percentile
4. Median
5. Upper Quartile/75th Percentile
6. Whisker
Apply SHARC Framework
Dont's - Hierarchy
The title is very specific and all of the fonts have equal weight. These choices can both direct viewers down a certain data story path while also causing confusion on where to focus first and subsequently.
Do's - Hierarchy
The title supports viewers exploring all of the data. Font size and boldness create a visual path to support the title.
Don'ts - Scale
Distortion of divisions can result in false conclusions about the data.
DO's - Scale
Use consistent scale divisions so the viewer easily understands the layout.
Don'ts - Readability
Visual clutter, such as unnecessary dark lines and fancy fonts, detract viewers attention from the data.
Do's - Readability
By eliminating unnecessary words or visuals and using concise, accurate language with fonts that are easy to read, the viewer can easily focus on the data.
Don'ts - Color
By using a number of unnecessary competing colors, the viewer might waste time deciphering which color goes with what data when they don't need to.
Do's - Color
Color is used sparingly and is the same to show that the data has equal importance. 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
Don’t start with 0 always, depending on the data, shift the starting point of the y-axis.
Do's - Axis
In this case, you need to adjust the axis start point. You are trying to highlight the mid-range. Think of it as using a magnifying glass on the mid-range to highlight the pattern.
Compare with Histogram
It would be difficult to compare the summary statistics across different histograms.
Because Box plots show the summary statistics, it is easier to compare across different box plots.