Diagrams and flowcharts help you and your team visualize complex ideas. Bluescape’s expanding workspace allows you to build dynamic diagrams that can grow and evolve in any direction.
You have a lot of flexibility to see your idea and processes in Bluescape. Not only can you use simple shapes and connectors to create your diagrams, you can also connect to images, icons, documents, and other assets. Having all the right content in the right places in your diagram will help you tell a powerful story to stakeholders.
There are many types of diagrams and flowcharts that you can build in Bluescape. Just a few examples include:
- Cloud architecture diagrams
- A complex manufacturing process to identify where opportunities for efficiency are
- A marketing launch flowchart so marketers can walkthrough a multi-channel launch plan to generate new leads or demand from customers
- Storyboarding so teams in film and animation or video game development can visualize the sequence of scenes
- Emergency response planning process and communication steps
In this article, we’ll go over the following 4 topics:
- Diagramming templates available
- How to start your diagram from scratch with shapes and connectors
- Tips to consider for diagram layout and design
- How to collaborate with your team and leadership members on your diagram
To help you get started on your diagram more quickly, check out the template library. Then go to diagramming. A couple of template examples are:
- Business Process Model Diagram
- AWS Architecture Diagram
- Sequence Diagramming
- Impact Mapping
To start a diagram from scratch, click on the shapes menu and select a shape. Place in the workspace. If you click on one of the nodes, it will add a quick connect which automatically draws a connection and adds another shape. If you select a shape, you can also quickly change to a different shape from the context menu.
Or you can add another shape from the plus icon line menu when you drag a new line from an existing shape node or add a line in the workspace.
You can easily customize where you attach lines by selecting one of the end nodes and holding down on your mouse to drag to other connections.
To customize the line, select the line and the line menu options will appear. You can customize the endpoint, the line color, the line style, weight and routing (curved, squared, or straight), or the line width.
You can also customize where your line sits in the space around by grabbing and dragging one of the mid point nodes located on the line itself.
To help communicate nuances, it’s important to think about how you use different shapes, color, line types, and other assets.
More complex diagrams may take advantage of additional elements like shapes within swimlanes or sections of a flowchart in a canvas to show different phases that are handled within a particular department, for example. This can be helpful to communicate ideas in aggregate before zooming closer in on the diagram within the canvas to go through more details.
There’s also hundreds of icons available to make even more visually impactful diagrams. For example, use AWS icons to build your Amazon Web Services architecture whether during planning, designing, or auditing an architecture before or after its deployed. Your IT security team can visualize current security measures in place with these icon options available, or engineers can map out new software development.
To collaborate on your diagram with co-workers, there are a few helpful features to consider:
- Color code areas of inefficiency to draw attention.
- Use comments to communicate back and forth. For example, add detailed clarifications on a specific input in the diagram.
- Add additional docs next to the diagram for a variety of purposes. For example, upload a procedures manual to read in context with the diagram in your workspace. Or you can add an excel sheet to keep track of calculations where you can see time or cost savings if the process is improved. Use one of our integrations to be able to see and make edits in real time to your spreadsheet next to your diagram in the workspace.
- View activity feeds for quick summaries on recent changes to the diagram.
- Use object linking to create a table of contents or to link sections of your diagram to other sections. This is especially helpful for departments or leadership members who need help navigating to specific areas quickly for reviews and discussions. It also can help you to navigate from one are to another more quickly during presentations.
- Duplicate entire diagrams. You can duplicate group selected objects or an entire canvas to visualize multiple scenarios with your team. It may take a few iterations of your diagram to see side by side to make the best decision on what process to move forward on. Or you can show diagrams for a before state, proposed state, and implemented process all in the same workspace.