Step 3 - Apply SHARC Framework
Violin Chart
Exploratory Violin Chart
Use an exploratory violin chart with SHARC to show the full distribution of datasets being compared across different groups. This can be useful even if the data doesn’t conform to the normal distribution.
For example, apply the SHARC framework to visualize the average time spent per week by the students on homework. If the data is not a normal distribution, plot the time interval on the X axis and frequency (number of students) on the Y axis.
- Be specific in naming the data you want your viewers to explore.
Axis label
- Include a label for X and Y axes.
Anatomy details
1. Lower Adjacent Value
2. Lower Quartile/25th Percentile
3. Median
4. Upper Quartile/75th Percentile
5. Whisker
6. Distribution
Apply SHARC Framework
Don'ts - Hierarchy
The title is very specific with the X axis labels unnecessarily highlighted. These choices will direct your viewers down a certain data story path with unnecessary visual detours.
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. Jumping from 0 to 20 does not make sense for the layout.
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 bolded and colored fonts for supporting elements, 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 (so start with the mid-range). Think of it as using a magnifying glass on the mid-range to highlight the pattern.
Compare with Box Plot
Box plots are not as effective for comparing groups with same or similar summary statistics.
Violin plots are better to compare the full distribution of a dataset across different groups even if all of them have the same or similar summary statistics.