Re: Flow Charts

Subject: Re: Flow Charts
From: Stuart Burnfield <slb -at- westnet -dot- com -dot- au>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 20 Nov 2011 14:01:05 +0800 (WST)

Hi Kari. This is a great book:

Illustrating Computer Documentation:
The Art of Presenting Information Graphically on Paper and Online, by William Horton (Wiley)

It was a great help to me in my early days as a visually illiterate TW.

I don't know if it's still in print but it shouldn't be hard to find a second-hand copy. You can download it as a PDF ($20): You can also download a free PDF with the full TOC and a sample chapter to see if covers the sort of material you're after.

It's very practical and has many examples of different types of diagram and graphic, including 'visual elements' that you might not normally think of as illustrations such as tables, lists and page layouts. You might think that a book for TWs and illustrators published in 1991 would be horribly dated, but in fact there's almost nothing in it that's tied to graphics software of the day. It should help you to plan and produce really good illustrations even if the only tools at your disposal were pencil and paper.

Good luck with your flow charts!


> I am finding myself in the position of having to draw a number
> of different kinds of flow charts -- showing process flow,
> inputs and outputs, relationships, cycles, and so on.
> I am spending way too much time thinking about how I want to
> draw it, and just getting hung up on -- and I either just
> end up writing the description or drawing something that
> doesn't really represent what I want.
> Does anybody have any good reference materials that would give
> me a giant step forward? That would give me some examples or
> guidelines on what information to use and what to cut?
> I know how to use Visio and Smart Art to actually draw them,
> it's deciding what is the best way to represent the ideas
> that I am being given.

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