Step 3 - Apply SHARC Framework
Small Multiples
Exploratory Small Multiples
Use a exploratory small multiples chart with SHARC to compare the same slices of data across different categories on the X and Y axes.
For example, apply the SHARC framework if you want to visualize life expectancy of 10 provinces of Canada with respect to the national average between 1970 and 2010.
- Be specific in naming the data you want your viewers to explore.
- Include an appropriate label for the chart.
- When you’re displaying 2 or more data points, provide legends.
Apply SHARC Framework
Don'ts - Hierarchy
The title is very specific with parts of the graph highlighted. These choices will direct your viewers down a certain data story path.
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
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
Visual clutter, such as unnecessary use of varied colors and 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.)
Dont's - 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
Using a line chart to compare multiple datasets gets cluttered quickly.
A small multiples chart allows the viewer to easily read across different categories of the same dataset.