Keeping Flowcharts Simple

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Complexities and simplicity represent the two sides of the proverbial coin. Natural processes such as the diurnal cycle represent an admirable level of simplicity that governs various life processes on earth. However, modern weather science informs us that immense complexities attend the formation of weather cycles and climate patterns in different parts of the globe. An examination of these natural processes may reveal underlying phenomenon that drive complex and complicated sub-processes and various sub-phenomenon. Similarly, the worlds of science, technology, and commerce thrive on observation, analysis, best practices, and calibrated interventions. Business enterprises can deploy flowcharts to chart commercial processes, but such endeavors must be driven by keeping flowcharts simple. This approach to flowchart diagrams enables designers and creators to adhere to core principles, while allowing reviewers to gain a deeper comprehension of depicted processes.

Digital technologies have bestowed enormous advantages that define certain aspects of modern civilization. Flowchart designers and creators that adhere to the dictum of keeping flowcharts simple can create a basic illustration for the benefit of every reader and reviewer. Such a flowchart essentially outlines the mechanics of a process in broad brushstrokes (or a few stages). The creators can append small web-links on these digital diagrams that lead readers (and reviewers) to external sources of knowledge. The fact that such repositories of information reside outside the flowchart contributes a significant level of visual simplicity. In addition, designers may choose to implement a monochromatic design motif and this provides added impetus to the avowed goal of keeping flowcharts simple. The utility of the flowchart diagram remains high because interested readers can refer to the web-links in their pursuit of a deeper understanding of a system or process.

Designers may choose to create a series of elementary flowchart diagrams in their pursuit of the goal of keeping flowcharts simple. This approach to sketching a process enables engineers and draughtsman to sketch a complicated process in the digital domain. Each flowchart can outline a certain section of a machine or process; this spurs higher levels of comprehension while creating discrete (perhaps inter-linked) diagrams. Reviewers can successively peruse individual flowcharts to gain a sense of the mechanisms that power a process or system. In addition, such an approach to creating flowcharts allows a certain leeway to designers and system architects in case of drastic design (or process) overhauls. The objective of keeping flowcharts simple also promotes clear-headed thinking among system architects; this stems from the fact that a simple flowchart does not generate the visual tedium (or sub-par comprehension) created by a visually complex blueprint.

Modern transportation networks can be complex systems that require travelers to pay attention. A touch-sensitive screen can display a digital index as part of a city’s transportation plan. This marks the beginning of an interaction that directs travelers to distant parts of an urban landscape. Touching the said screen can launch a flowchart diagram that depicts various routes for the benefit of travelers. The design of this system is partly driven by the objective of keeping flowcharts simple wherein, each traveler can refer to the diagram and gain a sense of direction. In addition, designers can create each flowchart with a view to conveying information such as travel times, the number of stations, fares, etc. The utility of such flowchart diagrams emerges when we consider future expansions of such commuter transportation systems. The motto of keeping flowcharts simple enables designers to re-iterate the design language when future expansions emerge in tune with urban development.

A binary dialogue that centers on negative and positive inputs can impart remarkable simplicity to flowchart diagrams. Flowchart designers can choose to create a lucid visual dialogue with readers and reviewers when they add a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the various paths inside a flowchart. This line of action offers a persistent level of instruction to reviewers; it also enables designers to achieve the mission of keeping flowcharts simple. In essence, this form of communication spurs readers’ understanding of an illustration, thereby promoting simplicity in the visual image. The ‘yes’ or ‘no system also removes any manner of ambiguity harbored in the minds of untrained reviewers. In addition, a quick survey of such a flowchart enables all readers to gain a thorough understanding of the various mechanics that power a process or system. However, such a flowchart may gloss over the intricacies and finer points that distinguish modern commercial and technological systems. That said, this illustration clearly underlines a distinct technique for use by designers that are interested in keeping flowcharts simple.

The perception of color and textures is one of the primary functions of animal vision. Human beings and animals perceive nature in its glorious, colorful avatars. However, flowchart designers may choose to create digital diagrams using a single color in the interests of keeping flowcharts simple. The use of a single color imparts a high level of visual monotony to the flowchart; however, to the human eye, the single color offers the reassurance associated with visual simplicity. In addition, the designers and creators of such flowcharts may adopt a linear model that depicts a process with a fair amount of detail. This approach imparts visual symmetry to the diagram, thereby inviting the average reader (or reviewer) to peruse the flowchart closely. Further, the uniform use of a single color inside a flowchart diagram allows designers to excise any visual confusion that may arise from the use of multiple colors.

Legends deployed inside maps and other forms of visual illustration act as information keys. This technique enables map makers to use map keys to encode information inside a diagram. Legends can be icons, symbols, and colors that are used to describe things or features depicted in a map. In a similar vein, the designers of flowcharts can use legends inside these diagrams in pursuit of the objective of keeping flowcharts simple. Such a legend can describe the name and function of a symbol (or symbols) that populate a flowchart diagram. For instance, a rectangle can denote a process while a similar shape with rounded edges can signify the start or end of a process. Similarly, special shapes may denote decisions and inputs/outputs inside a flowchart diagram. These shapes enable readers to make sense of the information depicted inside a flowchart diagram. The legend can be placed on the margins of the diagram or at any other location at the designer’s discretion.

Intelligent designers of flowcharts may elect to use conversational language when they design these digital creations. This approach allows designers to connect with readers and reviewers at a higher level. The designers may even punctuate the sequence of stages inside a flowchart with questions and suggestions in line with the objective of keeping flowcharts simple. The resulting masses of text may complicate the digital representation, but this flowchart bears the potential to resonate better with all manner of reviewers. A reader may pose his or her own set of questions, thus creating fertile grounds for a deeper investigation of the mechanics of a certain process. The ensuing conversation may lead to process refinements and/or the exploration of newer dimensions that may be latent inside a system. This illustration clearly spotlights the necessity of sustaining an ongoing dialogue between flowchart designers and stakeholders of every hue.

The foregoing lines of analyses reinforce the case for keeping flowcharts simple in modern times.

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