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“People often associate complexity with deeper meaning, when often after precious time has been lost, it is realized that simplicity is the key to everything.” – Gary Hopkins

Designs and diagrams – when viewed as visual expressions of artistic and technical talent – represent the workings of the mind, aspects of an individual’s worldview, and an impulse to create (improved) versions of machines, systems, and processes. Interpreting the idea of diagrams as visual landscapes themed to denote plans, blueprints, the expression of ideas, canvas for creative endeavors, are also expressions of human effort designed to attain solutions.

Observers note that creators must avoid overcomplicating design renditions, such as flowcharts, in a bid to transmit information transparently to a maximum number of stakeholders. An absence of over-complication also implies clarity of thought on the part of designers, architects, and creators of flowcharts. The benefits of this stance extend to interesting renditions of ideas, a clear lucid rendering of the flow of components of concepts, and a smooth transition of the purely intellectual into the material domain.

  • Designing Reduction, Driving Simplicity

A reductive approach, when implemented correctly, aids designers working to avoid overcomplicating the modern flowchart. This reductive approach is a method, an expression of planning and ideation, as also a form of visual abbreviation. Such a stance assumes high levels of knowledge on the part of readers/observers and allows designers to develop and render complex diagrams conveyed through design motifs focused on the minimal. Diagrams that integrate the reductive approach can help portray sophisticated versions of ideation, may serve as templates for education, and promote fluid interactions in minds of readers. On their part, designers may boost such endeavors with creative use of legends embedded within spaces of connected diagrams. Additionally, creators may develop multiple editions of the reductive approach as a method to avoid overcomplicating renditions of diagrams.

  • The Matter of Disaggregation

Disaggregating ideas (or blueprints undergoing development) represents an authentic technique that may assist creators keen to avoid overcomplicating flowcharts. The idea of disaggregation essentially hinges on decomposition, a piecemeal approach, and a step-by-step rendition of components of the system/process/diagram. Designers and creators may build sections of diagrams within a large segment of flow-based illustration. This technique restricts the quanta of information encased within segments of illustration, limits our ability to comprehend the entire picture, and also builds traction in attaining simplicity of visual expression. Disaggregation also implies multiple planes of experimentation with rendering techniques, as also advance assessments of each segment prior to creation. Subsequently, designers may arrange sequences of individual images to present the proverbial big picture to readers.

  • Ideating on Connectors

Standardized methods of deploying arrows and connectors can help designers avoid overcomplicating within flowcharts. Arrows that denote movement from left to right can impart discipline to flowcharts, and boost the concept of linearity within diagrams. This construct is an assumption – one that encourages designers to re-think the methods of visual rendition. In addition, this stance may require creators to author notes as addendum to diagrams under construction. Designers may introduce angular planes within flows of connected diagrams as a technique to boost the unidirectional motif. This may bring forth creative designs of illustration that help the mission to avoid overcomplicating. Further, creators may experiment with specific tints/colors that generate greater resonance for information encased within flowcharts.

  • Finding the Balance

An appropriate level of detail must be included when we seek to avoid overcomplicating flow-based diagrams. This stance is necessary in scenarios wherein, for instance, “senior management may need a higher-level flowchart with just a few steps, while staff members performing the work or trying to improve the process need a very granular, task-level flowchart.” In such scenarios, designers could work on multiple iterations of connected imagery as method to cater to different groups of stakeholders. This technique is highly interesting because it also allows designers to control the flows of information within connected diagrams. Further, the task to avoid overcomplicating gains heft when details are rendered in different levels, enabling clear transmission of tiered information to groups of readers/stakeholders.

  • Benefits of Fewer Variations

A limited repertoire of shapes is necessary to eliminate complexity in rendering visual diagrams. Designers may work to avoid overcomplicating flowcharts through the repetitive implementation of shapes for decision points, tasks, start and endpoints, and more. Variations may emerge in text embedded within shapes – these, spur meaning and context that elevates the relevance of blueprints and diagrams. In certain instances, designers may create new visual expressions by combining individual instances of design shapes – this stance could allow a level of visual diversity to emerge within flowcharts and similar diagrams. Additionally, they may expand the library of in-diagram shapes as an expression of enlightened method that corresponds to larger projects. This composite stance allows readers to gain familiarity with visual renditions of the flowchart, thereby educating them in deciphering or comprehending meaning engineered into connected diagrams.

  • Exploring Vertical Dimensions

Flowcharts are meant to streamline and simplify understanding”; bearing this in mind, designers could experiment with ideation that tilts heavily toward vertical structures. These super-structures could be envisioned as individual stages and also as mini editions of flow diagrams cast in vertical spaces. For instance, designers of industrial processes could avoid overcomplicating by implementing this stance within connected diagrams. Each ‘stage’ could visually describe a certain sub-process while finding integration into the overall image or structure depicting a collection of sub-processes. In a similar vein, creators may deploy this stance to develop/explore sinews and structures of original ideation as part of driving organizational growth, for instance. Additionally, they may use text/graphics to impart greater meaning to the imagery, thus combining ingenuity with information to generate detailed, yet uncomplicated diagrams.

  • Text-heavy Connectors

Connectors that incorporate short text-based narratives may prove instrumental in designing useful diagrams. With this technique, creators may re-think or re-engineer the whole structure of flowcharts as part of efforts to avoid overcomplicating diagrams. This technique may expand the footprint of the diagram, and trigger larger instances of imagery – however, this stance could allow a more descriptive image to emerge from design endeavors. Thus, we could infer in-diagram connectors as platforms of meaning, expand the weight of context, and enable creators to convey compressed information through visual images. Legends may operate as an additional enabler – however, their utility may fluctuate aligned with the nature of information encoded into diagrams. These stances may enable a greater number of diagrams to resonate with all segments of stakeholders.

  • To Conclude

Readers may interact with these lines of information and exploration to boost their engagement with the headline topic. They must acknowledge the fact they must pre-process certain lines of information to avoid overcomplicating the visual representation of diagrams – they must also invest in knowledge platforms as part of broader intent to design/build interesting editions of connected diagrams. Designers may elect to re-visit legacy editions of flowcharts with a view to boosting their functionality. This stance could expand the ambit of such ventures, and allow greater transparency in development initiatives. Meanwhile, designers and creators could consider collaborations with consultants and specialists as part of efforts to design sophisticated diagrams that convey information on many planes. Such collaboration could elevate the quality of flowcharts and enhance the efficiency of designing activities while preserving the sanctity of meaning and upholding the principle of non-complication.