Visio drawings 2, playing around

I don’t know about you, but when making some drawings I can get a bit bored.  At least when I’m making the same type of drawing over and over again.  So let’s look at what you can do to increase your skills, make pretty things, and not be bored.

When I’m looking at somebody elses drawing I’m often unimpressed.  Mostly for the reasons I went over in this post.  While I like making pretty drawings I sometimes get bored with making the same look every time.  Every now and then I like to spice it up a bit.  Especially if I’m only presenting things to coworkers and not management.   In these cases it’s hard to get in trouble for doing something kind of fun and goofy, so I like to get a bit out there when I can.

The best way I’ve found to spice it up a bit is to find a neat template and play with it.  Visio Guy ( has made some great stuff and publishes them on his website.  Here’s an example of what I did with a wire-frame style “Battle Zone” template (linky).

I had to take over a project because somebody left the company.  They did good work and the design was solid and consistent with how things work in the company, he just wasn’t able to stay and complete the project due to circumstances outside his control.  There wasn’t a whole lot for me to do, but I had to familiarize myself with the project and design, so I decided to do the drawing again.  Obviously I’m not going to publish sensitive information, so names and IP’s have been redacted.

Here’s the old one:


Not a bad drawing.  It gets the point across and was easy enough to follow, but I felt I could do it better…

new version


Doesn’t that look cool?  Granted, it’s the sort of thing that might get a manager to look at you kind of funny, but all the design had already been presented to change control and management, so this was just to make sure that the design was firm in my head.  This still follows some of my adopted keys to design: rounded corners, bold colors, lines don’t cross when they don’t have to.

To get this done I did have to go away from the template a bit, but I think aesthetically I made it work.