Whether you are looking for flowcharts, sitemaps, business processes, organization charts, wireframes or other diagrams to use on your website, we can help!
Visualization is a powerful medium of communication. What can be expressed in thousands of words can be easily conveyed through one image or diagram. Diagrams are pictorial or graphical presentation of information. They can be used for a plethora of purposes. Diagrams can simplify the sharing of important data, they can be used in sales or purely for informational purposes, they can be used for convenience and they can supplement other forms of presentation. A business website should make optimum use of different types of diagrams. Not all forms will be relevant for every website. While you should look for tools that can help you to create professional looking diagrams to use on your website, the first thing you need to decide is the type of diagram you must choose for a given purpose.
Different Types of Diagrams
You must be familiar with flowcharts and sitemaps. You may not be familiar with wireframes and business processes. Some diagrams are for the audience, such as pie charts and organisation charts. Some diagrams are for the business or those managing the website, such as wireframes. Your choice of a particular diagram will depend on the process you are trying to map out, the purpose you have in mind, if there would be any math involved in the presentation, whether or not there will be any comparison and illustration, if it would be simply a statistical presentation or a plan of action with definitive steps. Every type of diagram has one fundamental purpose, to present information or data in a way that is meaningful, easy to comprehend and helpful.
- One of the most widely used diagrams on websites is a flowchart. Nothing lays out the steps as simply and coherently as a flowchart. It is simple and effective. There are enough variations and symbols that you can use for a flowchart to present complex ideas or steps without complicating the presentation.
- The next most common type of diagram is business process modeling notation. This is more suited for substantially complicated processes. A flowchart can be found lacking in some niches so if you have something highly technical or a cobweb of information, then you should go for business process modeling notation.
- The third popular type of diagram is UML, which is unified modeling language. This type has several variants and is usually a favorite among business analysts and software engineers. Like other sets of diagrams, unified modeling language can cater to various purposes.
The Plethora of Choices for Specific Purposes
Over the years, many diagrams have become associated and almost synonymous with specific purposes. Fishbone is widely used for marketing purposes. Organisation charts, which are not very different from family tree as a concept, are almost customary to present associations, network of partners or the hierarchy of a company. If there are math problems that need to be presented in a simple manner then you could opt for probability tree diagrams or Venn diagrams. You could use pie charts, bar/column charts and bubble charts among others.
Unified modeling language diagrams are a little more complicated than pie charts and organisation charts. There are many types of diagrams within this system that you have to be familiar with before you can use a tool to create them. These diagrams are categorized as structure, class, component, deployment, object, package, profile, composite structure, behavioral, use case, activity, state machine, sequence, communication, interaction overview and timing.
Tools to Help you Create Professional Looking Diagrams on your Website
There is no dearth of templates that you can use. Many templates come with enough scope for customisation so you don’t need to settle for exactly what is available. You don’t need to design diagrams from the scratch but you would need to work on the content, present it in a professional way and host it on your website. You may need your webmaster to incorporate the diagrams seamlessly into your website design. The diagrams must not look out of place. This is why most business owners and managers use specific tools.
- Plot.ly is a popular tool. You can use the application to import the data you need. You would not have to manually fill the various fields within a diagram. You can source all the data and present them in a customised way. You can use this tool for free but if you wish to collaborate with others then there is a fee you need to pay every month. Plot.ly allows you to use bar charts, line graphs, heat maps, box plots, histograms, bubble charts and error bars among others. There are three dimensional charts and graphs as well. You can work with various types of files including PNG, PDF, SVG, EPS, WebP and JPG among others. Plot.ly is used by Washington Post, Boston Globe and even the United States Air Force.
- Hohli is another popular online charts builder. This tool is for everyone who does not want to deal with the coding or the technicalities. This is a turnkey application in a way. You can focus only on the data and how it is being represented using the chosen diagrams. Hohli uses Google Charts API as its foundation but it has fewer options than Google. You can work with pie charts, line charts, column or bar charts, scatter and area, trend and map among others. You can choose from a plethora of styles, sizes, colors and orientations. Hohli is widely used by students and teachers. It is just as useful to make charts for your website.
- There are many other tools such as Rich Chart Live, RAW and Cacoo but they don’t really outperform Creately. You can try Creately for free but the full scope can be explored only with a personal or team plan. Creately is a treasure trove for anyone looking for professional diagrams. The infographics libraray is an almost unmatched resource. The company offers great support. You can work with business processes diagrams, user interfaces, organisation charts and there is a flowchart maker. The personal and team plans will give you access to their mind mapping software, SWOT analysis, wireframe software, sitemap drawing software, Gantt charts software, flowchart software for Mac, business diagram and system diagram software. There are UML diagrams creator and UML sequence diagrams. You can use a case diagram tool, class diagrams creator, database design software, Venn diagram creator, software for network diagram, educational diagrams creator, ER software and concept map maker. Creately is easy to use. The shapes and connectors are the best in class. You can collaborate with others and explore thousands of templates. There are desktop and mobile versions of the application. You can also use the online version.