What Programs are best for Creating Flowchart Diagrams?

“The most important property of a program is whether it accomplishes the intention of its user.” – C.A.R. Hoare

Diagrams and illustrations – in various forms, motifs, and expressions – share millennia-long association with the human species. We may conjecture the earliest diagrams (or crude sketches) appeared when humans scratched by hand freeform images on dusty/muddy soil, on cave walls, or on the barks of trees. These were inchoate efforts undertaken momentarily to impose lines of human thought on rough surfaces, emerged as expressions of primitive artistic impulses, or can be viewed as pure whimsy.

In contemporary times, software-powered packages help human designers in creating flowchart diagrams. In essence, a complex layer of digital technology now mediates the development of various diagrams and illustrations. In response to market demand, a variety of packages encased with different levels of ability has emerged in modern markets. Such technology promotes the creation of specific types of diagrams and blueprints, offers multiple forms of expression, allows creators to explore two-dimensional spaces, and incorporates the use of various design languages in the art and craft of creating flowchart diagrams.

The human brain – and intellect allied with intangibles such as knowledge, design skills, and experience – emerges as the best platform for creating flowchart diagrams. This assertion draws heft from the fact that human beings can articulate/develop multiple levels of flowcharts based on the elements listed above. Logic and acts of refinement serve as able complements that empower the human brain to output landmark instances of modern blueprints or flowcharts. The powers of the intellect also enable such enterprises to attain high levels of customization in response to demands of various processes/systems that find expression inside sets of inter-connected illustrations. In addition, the brains of designers working on projects of creating flowchart diagrams could seek direction from prior experiences and devise outstanding versions of functional first-edition flowcharts.

When we survey the commercial landscape for programs that excel in creating flowchart diagrams, we find offerings from Creately that promote collaboration in such enterprise. The software programs and proprietary packages offer designers clear ability to create in excess of 40 different types of flowcharts and connected illustrations. These types of flowchart find a variety of uses in the domains of modern science, commerce, technology, architecture, and design. The developers working at Creately have fashioned desktop and mobile applications for the benefit of users interested in investing in such programs. Indeed, “Creately provides web-based drawing software that allows teams to effectively and quickly communicate so projects can be carried out with agility.” The sophistication built into these modern design products requires users to log into the website and use the various levels of functionality to generate outstanding flowcharts.

OmniGraffle offers products that are “purpose-built for explaining complicated ideas in a beautiful, precise way.” This digital illustration application offers all the proverbial bells and whistles for designers embarking on voyages of creating flowchart diagrams. The firm offers users the benefit of online tutorials that train the average human being to utilize OmniGraffle programs to output different editions of flowchart diagrams. Key elements of this package offer viewers highly visualized controls that drive the creation of custom representations of flowchart. Graded buying licenses ensure that designers capture maximum value for their investment in this software package; the firm also launches regular updates to proprietary packages geared for creating flowchart diagrams. The dark mode setting enables creators to focus on the design task and obliterate distractions that may impede the design effort.

SmartDraw empowers the design community “to draw any type of chart, diagram, flowcharts, organization charts, floor plans, network diagrams, and more on any device.” The programs offered by SmartDraw enable “contractors and architects, business executives and project managers” to visualize ideas inside two-dimensional spaces, implement design interventions at various levels, share output with ranks of collaborators, and register interesting forays in the domain of creating flowchart diagrams. The company offers users multi-seat and multi-site licenses as part of efforts to promote commercial diagramming on a superb scale. The SmartDraw product is tech-enabled and utilizes cloud computing to allow users access at any time from any location. It includes “templates for emergency and disaster, engineering and CAD, floor plans, healthcare, infographics, landscape plans, legal, retail, science and education, and software and Web design, among others.

Users of ThinkComposer diagramming products can “work on business models, class diagrams, genealogy trees, timelines, use case diagrams, and more.” This free product design software “can generate PDF, XPS, or HTML reports based on data. It is open source and extensible with plugins.” Some reviewers note ThinkComposer “facilitates connection of ideas using relationships that have multiple targets and origins plus rich-content details. ThinkComposer enables the symbol of ideas to include subtitle or title, hanging details, markers, and subtitle.” Therefore, designers working on projects of creating flowchart diagrams can output “complete, adaptable, and reusable designs to execute problem analysis, solutions design, and knowledge representation.” In addition, creators can leverage the package to generate complete reports from flowcharts, design instances of composite flowcharts, visualize basic (and additional) information inside flowchart diagrams, and display/hide relevant details that animate the flow of information inside flowcharts.

Lucidchart presents a “HTML5 and JavaScript-backed software package” that helps designers “create simple and complex flows, organization charts, wireframes, and UML” illustrations in the pursuit of creating flowchart diagrams. The makers of the Lucidchart product claim that this “essential visual productivity platform helps anyone understand and share ideas, information, and processes with clarity. With this intuitive, cloud-based solution, anyone can learn to work visually and collaborate in real time while building flowcharts.” Interestingly, the Lucidchart Learning Center enables users to access tutorial guides and achieve a high degree of proficiency in developing flowcharts and similar illustrations. The architects of the product have promoted ease of use by incorporating “seamless integrations with many of the world’s widely used business systems and applications, such as Google Apps, Google Drive, JIVE, Atlassian, and more.

Textografo develops and markets design packages that feature “multi-format exports, organizational charts, API-based integrations, real-time feedback integration, revision histories, text-to-diagram, one-click animations, nested diagrams, flowcharts, mind maps, decision trees, site maps, and cloud collaboration tools.” The product empowers designers in the project of creating flowchart diagrams by creating and linking decisions, processes, and sub-processes, and on-page references inside flowcharts. Hailed as a “nifty, agile and intuitive diagramming tool”, Textografo remains “ideal to quickly map business processes, or provide a decision tree to customer service or help desks.” Users of this package can further “create professional-looking diagrams in minutes, transmit visual messages across with animations and themes, and quickly share ideas and integrate feedback” inside modern flowcharts.

The programs and technology products detailed in the paragraphs above help designers to create outstanding specimens of flowcharts in a variety of functional contexts. Creators and architects of diagrams could utilize the native tools integrated into these programs to blaze new trails in the domain of modern design; alternatively, designers could elect to assess/explore specific functions and tools as part of the process of selecting programs prior to embarking on design missions. Such a stance may output interesting creations that sharpen our perceptions of complexity that manifests inside systems, processes, and sub-processes. The balanced application of technology could encourage the design community to improve their trade craft, and contribute to the expansion of interfaces that promote innovation in contemporary design.

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