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Systems diagramming
Systems diagramming

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4.7 Diagrams for communication

Commonly used diagrams for communication follow conventions that are widely understood, many diagrams used for connectivity as previously discussed also lend themselves to use in communicating ideas. A diagram developed for communication:

  • is large, clear and well laid out;

  • has shading and/or colour for emphasis;

  • has a title; and

  • has a key to the meaning of all the symbols used in the diagram.

Annotation, notes and/or narrative may be necessary but in general two simple diagrams are preferable to one complicated one.

The type of diagram you draw depends on the purpose for which you draw it; bear in mind few people ever get it ‘right’ first time. If you are using diagrams to aid understanding of written material (or vice versa) put the diagrams as close to the text to which they refer – don't hide them away in an appendix.

Having read this far you may still be unsure about drawing diagrams. You will only get real value from drawing diagrams as part of a larger course, as this course is only designed to get you started and be a continuing reference work.