Drawing system or business diagrams, any learning resources?

I honestly have no idea how I managed to get this far in the field without learning this specific skill, but I believe I must learn the principles of drawing diagrams that both technical and business folks can comprehend if I want to advance. Could someone suggest a book or website or any other resource where I may learn the rules of effective diagram design?


Here’s your starting point: The C4 model for visualising software architecture

Identify the diagrams that your company uses the most frequently and search Google for resources after that. The book “Software Requirements,” published by Microsoft, is something I enjoy.

There are undoubtedly dozens more books, but I believe you should start with what your business needs or already uses before adding additional tools. Although there are countless number of tools, most people only use a select few.

In my experience, there aren’t really any good general principles. Possibly, if I could think of three, they would be:

  • Know your audience and address them specifically.

  • Use multiple diagrams to fill in different viewpoints and convey different information because you can’t fit everything on one.

  • Mix and match concepts from various diagram types, and to make a diagram more understandable, add text or other comments.


The best resource for learning how to make system or business diagrams is through online tutorials and courses. These resources provide step-by-step instructions and examples to help beginners understand the process. They can also offer advanced techniques and tips for more experienced diagram creators. By utilizing online tutorials and courses, individuals can gain the necessary skills to create diagrams effectively and efficiently. This can lead to improved communication and organization within various fields and industries. Moreover, diagram creators can also collaborate with others and share their work to further enhance collaboration and knowledge sharing. In addition, diagram creators can explore various software tools and applications specifically designed for creating diagrams. These tools often come with user-friendly interfaces and a wide range of features, making the diagram creation process even more accessible. Additionally, staying updated with the latest trends and advancements in diagramming can help creators stay ahead of the curve and produce visually appealing and informative diagrams.


Although I’m not certain about resources in terms of methodology, I do have a few suggestions for tools: Excalidraw and Miro for extremely simple flows, and Figma and Sketch for more intricate designs.

There are really several templates in Miro that are available, so using those could be helpful for obtaining ideas on how to put these together. Using those templates could be helpful for obtaining ideas on how to put these designs together and create visually appealing and cohesive flows, ultimately resulting in a more polished and professional-looking product.


@NaomiNwosu Thank you for the suggestion. I will definitely take a look at c4model.com.

@BinaCampos, sure thing I have been looking at google for answers, some of them are very relative and I can connect with them. Thanks.

@DamianMarshall, I certainly am diving deep into Miro and am loving it. Although I still haven’t had the time to look at Figma and Sketch. But yes, I will soon review them too.

Thank you all for your valuable insights. I believe having a strong foundation in diagram design will greatly enhance my ability to effectively communicate complex ideas and concepts. Additionally, it will enable me to create visually appealing and informative diagrams that cater to both technical and non-technical audiences.


Using Miro and their templates is something I really enjoy. It can occasionally be beneficial to start by generating another diagram. Additionally, if you have access to a graphic designer, they could be able to assist you in organizing your work before sharing. Also, if you have access to a graphic designer, they might be able to help you clean things up before sharing, which can greatly enhance the overall presentation and professionalism of your work. By collaborating with others, you can gather different perspectives and improve the quality of your work.


If your teams are not already using a particular diagramming model, I would caution against using one.

Clear communication is what PMs should be able to achieve; adopting a complicated modeling process that no one is familiar with will not improve communications.

Even after spending weeks studying some incredibly precise modeling techniques, no one will be able to understand your designs.

Practice is the best piece of advice I can give you.

  • Have others create diagrams for you.

  • Draw diagrams of system components or interactions, then invite others to study them with you and provide feedback.


Creating effective system or business diagrams is an essential skill in many professions. To learn the principles behind good diagram design, you can explore a combination of online resources, books, and courses. Here are some recommended resources:

  1. Lucidchart’s Diagramming Basics Guide: Lucidchart is a popular online diagramming tool, and they offer a comprehensive guide on diagramming basics, including various types of diagrams used in business and technical contexts. It covers flowcharts, org charts, network diagrams, and more. You can find this guide on their website.
  2. Books: There are several books that delve into the principles of visual communication and diagram design. Two highly recommended ones are:
  • “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information” by Edward Tufte: This classic book focuses on data visualization and can provide valuable insights into creating clear and effective diagrams.
  • “Universal Principles of Design” by William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, and Jill Butler: This book covers fundamental design principles that can be applied to creating diagrams as well.
  1. Online Courses:
  • Coursera: Courses like “Data Visualization and Communication with Tableau” and “Business and Financial Modeling Specialization” offer valuable insights into creating effective business diagrams.
  • edX: Check out courses like “Data Science MicroMasters Program” or “Business Analysis MicroMasters Program,” which often cover diagramming as part of their curriculum.
  • Udemy: You can find various diagramming courses on Udemy, ranging from beginner to advanced levels.
  1. YouTube Tutorials: There are numerous YouTube channels dedicated to diagramming and data visualization. Channels like “The Diagrammer” and “Leila Gharani” offer tutorials on creating various types of diagrams using different tools.
  2. Diagramming Tools’ Documentation and Tutorials: Tools like Microsoft Visio, draw.io, and Creately often provide detailed documentation and tutorials on how to use their software effectively for diagram creation.
  3. Online Forums and Communities: Websites like Stack Overflow, Quora, and Reddit (e.g., r/dataviz) can be great places to ask questions, share your work, and get feedback from experienced diagram creators.
  4. Practice: One of the best ways to learn is by doing. Start creating diagrams for your work or personal projects. Experiment with different tools and design principles, and don’t be afraid to iterate and improve your diagrams over time.

Remember that creating effective diagrams is both a skill and an art. It takes practice and a keen eye for detail. By combining these resources with hands-on experience, you can become proficient in creating diagrams that convey complex information clearly to technical and business audiences.


Great notes; many thanks. Yes, I should think carefully about how much to do myself and how much to delegate to someone with more experience in order to achieve the best results.


Interesting question: what sort of diagrams do you need to make? …and for what purpose? …and for what purpose do you need to make them? …and for what purpose do you need to make them? Are they for a presentation or for documentation purposes?

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I’m not sure what kinds of diagrams you need to create, but I love using whimsical. I use it to depict customer journeys and business processes. I don’t use flow chart language,” where shapes represent different actions or decisions, because so few people understand that. I utilize boxes, arrows, and text to keep things really straightforward. These infographics have received a lot of positive feedback from developers and stakeholders. Whatever method you choose, keep it easy to understand. This will ensure effective communication and clarity in conveying information to all parties involved, resulting in smoother interactions and a higher likelihood of successful outcomes. This will ultimately lead to a more efficient and productive environment for everyone involved.

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