Step 3 - Apply SHARC Framework
Exploratory Histogram
Use an exploratory histogram with SHARC so viewers can explore the frequency or distribution of a numeric dataset.
For example, apply SHARC to guide viewers in exploring the average time students spent on homework per week.
- Be specific in naming what the dataset is.
Axes labels
- Include a label for X and Y axes.
Apply SHARC Framework
Don'ts - Hierarchy
The title is very specific with parts of the data highlighted. These choices will direct your viewers down a certain data story path. All fonts are the same size, so it is hard to decipher what to read first.
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 the time or number of students, in this case, makes it hard to read that no students reported studying 12-14 hours. It is difficult to understand the shape of the spread.
DO's - Scale
Both the time along the X axis and the number of students along the Y axis are consistent, so the viewer can easily understand the layout of the chart.
Don'ts - Readability
Long titles that have to be read repeatedly to decipher, fonts that grab attention, numbers that do not need to be sideways, and unnecessary lines all take time away from navigating 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 trying to decide 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
Starting the vertical axis at 3 instead of zero distorts the data results.
Do's - Axis
Start with 0 on the Y axis.
Compare with Box Plots
Because box plots show the summary statistics, it might not always be able to reflect the shape of distribution.
Histograms are good for showing the shape of the symmetry, especially if a wide variance exists in the data.