A significant part of being an architect is effectively communicating your ideas to your stakeholders, making architectural diagrams more appealing is a key skill in this area.
We all know it can be difficult sometimes to hit the right tone with our stakeholders, unfortunately they don’t all speak fluent ArchiMate. To make these conversations more effective, it helps sometimes to look at alternative visualizations. Recently we have added new capabilities to make it easier to create custom diagrams and we have also introduced new viewpoints and icons to make diagrams more appealing.
Metro – map
One of the new visualizations we have added is a metro-map. For the metro-map, as the name suggest, we have taken inspiration from metro-maps to show a sequence or a flow of information. In the example below we show a flow of information between actors. Every metro line is referring to an information object.
Another way of making architectural diagrams more appealing is by using alternative colors / icons. To make this easier we have included AWS-icons to our symbol library. These can be used to, for instance, create a deployment architecture diagram or cloud architecture diagram. The AWS-icons can be used from the “Change graphical shape” menu or can be used in our Metamodeler to create a custom viewpoint. By creating a custom viewpoint you make it easier to create diagrams with a consistent look and feel. Another advantage is that they can be really tailored towards a specific target audience, while at the same time still adhere to the ArchiMate standard.
Figure 1 Microservices example from Amazon
Besides the icons we provide out-of-the-box it also possible to use / create your own icons. In the below example we have used Font Awsome icons to create a high level Infrastructure architecture.
Figure 2 Infrastructure architecture
Making the effort to create these kind of diagrams can make a real difference in the acceptance of your architectural diagrams, but if you want to start smaller, we have seen examples were our customers drastically improved adoption rate of architectural diagrams by simply ‘painting’ the diagram in their corporate colors. Standardization on corporate colors can also easily be achieved by defining custom viewpoints in the Metamodeler.
If you have got any questions about the above examples or have some nice examples of your own that you can share, please let me know and drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org