Every good business owner and manager of a company thinks about ways to improve their business. For this it is necessary to have the right people in the team, but also to use the right tools. UML diagram is one of the tools that helps to visually present relevant information about a particular system in order to gain understanding and identify ways to improve the system. Below we share with you more about what UML diagrams are and what rules you should follow when using them.
What are UML diagrams?
UML stands for Unified Modeling Language and is one of the most commonly used tools for modeling various business processes and documenting software. Why are these diagrams so useful? Because they allow us to visually present information about a system, in order to achieve a better understanding of that system, detect all errors and identify potential ways to improve it. These diagrams actually show the various software components, and have been developed as a solution of problems that have arisen in this area in the past.
At the end of the last century, people wanted to put an end to complex and incomprehensible representations and documentation of software systems. Thanks to this, this technique has been created. It allows visual display of all important system features. UML diagram tools have proven so useful over the past few decades that today most companies use them and enjoy the benefits they provide.
Types of UML diagrams
Nowadays, there are more than 10 different types of UML diagrams used in different areas. Package diagram, component diagram, sequence diagram, communication diagram and deployment diagram are just some of them. All these subclasses can be categorized into two basic types of diagrams – structural diagrams and interaction diagrams (they are also called behavioral diagrams).
Five rules you should follow when using UML diagrams
There are five basic rules you should follow when drawing UML diagrams to ensure that they are maximally effective and that you can gain valuable insights about your business.
- For starters, focus on keeping the diagrams neat and not making a mess in order to make sure all the information is completely clear and visually presented in the best possible way
- Ensure that all lines in the diagram are at right angles, regardless of whether they are placed horizontally or vertically; this will further contribute to the neatness and clarity of the whole diagram
- Avoid crossing lines on the diagram, as this reduces the visibility of individual diagram items
- In terms of hierarchy, all parent elements should be placed higher than child elements
- Focus only on the most important items and try to define them in as few words as possible; one of the biggest mistakes on UML diagrams is the use of too many items, which loses the essence of these tools; keep it short, simple and clear
UML diagrams are a tool that provides a visual representation of various software systems, as a result of which it is possible to better understand the system, detect deficiencies and eliminate them. If you still do not use them in your work, we suggest that you change that as soon as possible and find out what benefits these tools offer for your company.