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Happy Birthday VisVocab

15 Dec 2003

Jesse waxes nostalgic for boxes and arrows over at BoxesandArrows.com on the third anniversary of his Visual Vocabulary. For those of you not familiar with the tools, it is a set of standard elements that can be used to diagram interaction design flows and site architecture diagrams. I’ve been using it for almost as long as it has been out, and it feels like a second language to me — an astonishingly efficient shortcut between my brain and an eventual design solution.

But remember, it’s not just a bunch of shapes that makes for good deliverables — the consistent use of those elements is equally important. When trying to diagram a series of Web interactions, remember these heuristics:

Here are some excelent examples from the master himself: Yahoo Mail (34k PDF), Slate (41k PDF), Metafilter (20k PDF) ​