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# System Diagramming Basics

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A very short overview of the critical steps and components of a successful system diagram.

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### System Diagramming Basics

1. 1. System  Diagramming  Basics IXDSN-­‐210:  Systems Tim  Sheiner©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 1
2. 2. Agenda The  point Beneﬁts  and  limitaCons  of  diagrams The  reference  book Process ConvenCons AnnotaCon DecoraCon©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 2
3. 3. What  is  the  point of  system  diagrams?©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 3
4. 4. CommunicaCon.©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 4
5. 5. System  Diagrams  as  a  tool Beneﬁts •O#en  actually  worth  one  thousand  words •Help  you—the  designer—deﬁnitely •Ac:vate  visual  and  spa:al  cogni:ve  machinery LimitaCons •Not  dynamic •Help  others—not  the  designer—maybe •Can  become  an  end,  rather  than  a  means©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 5
6. 6. A  Reference  Book:  Communica:ng  Design The  good  things •Dan’s  POV:  read  chapter  2! •The  informa:on  architecture  of  the  book •The  examples •The  detail  (well  explained  trees) The  less  good  things •systems-­‐speciﬁc  ar:facts  not  covered •The  physical  format  of  the  book •The  detail  (obscures  the  forest)©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 6
7. 7. Process suggested  order  of  operaCons  for  construcCng  diagrams©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 7
8. 8. Diagramming  Process 11. [Make  a  list  of  the  pieces] 7. [Collaborate]2. Sketch 1. Share 2. Revisit  Inputs3. Move  to  ﬁnal  medium 8. Iterate4. Color  sparingly 1. Explore  a  diﬀerent  approach5. Use  conven:ons 2. Move  stuﬀ  around6. Label,  label,  label1adapted  from  CommunicaCng  Design,  pp  18-­‐19 ©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 8
9. 9. Process:  Sketch©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 9
10. 10. Process:  Place  the  Objects©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 10
11. 11. Process:  Make  Connec:ons©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 11
12. 12. Process:  Reﬁne©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 12
13. 13. The  diagram  AND  the  learning  are  the  valuable  outcomes ~3  hours©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 13
14. 14. Diagramming  Conven:on1. Follow  conven:on2. If  there  is  no  relevant  standard  to  follow,  apply  a  standard  of   consistency ©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 14
15. 15. //  diagramming  conven:on If  !(relevantStandard)  { internalConsistency; }©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 15
16. 16. An  example of  following  an  ad  hoc  internal  standard...©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 16
17. 17. Diagramming  Conven:ons©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 17
18. 18. Diagramming  Conven:ons rectangle  =  plug-­‐in  logic©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 18
19. 19. Diagramming  Conven:ons rounded  rectangle  =  controller  logic©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 19
20. 20. Diagramming  Conven:ons round  =  API  type  object©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 20
21. 21. Diagramming  Conven:ons brackets  =  sub  system©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 21
22. 22. Diagramming  Conven:ons brackets  =  sub  system layer:   use  of  diﬀerent   bracket  styles   conveys  an   actual  diﬀerence©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 22
23. 23. Annota:on Text  associated  with  the  illustraCon  and  intended  to   clarify  its  meaning.    A  common  kind  of  layer  applied  to   info  graphics.©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 23
24. 24. Notes notes©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 24
25. 25. Key key©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 25
26. 26. Call  out and  this  is  a  leader  line this  is  a  call    out©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 26
27. 27. Decora:on Imagery,  embellishment,  shading  or  any  kind  of  non-­‐ textual    marks  applied  to  an  illustraCon  to  improve  its   communicaCon  value.       Oben  subject  to  abuse.©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 27
28. 28. Examples  of  Decora:on©Tim  Sheiner  2013  All  rights  reserved 28