A recent find has been making parts of my life easier: OmniGraffle, a diagramming tool which comes bundled with the latest Macs.
Though I’m probably the last OS X user on the planet to try them out, I figured I owed it to myself to take a spin through some of the free software that came with the new Powerbook I picked up last month. There are some real gems bundled, including the Art Director’s Toolkit, the iLife suite, and a few applications from the Omni Group.
OmniGraffle is a diagramming and charting tool that’s simple, elegant, and easy to use. I was building my first for-production-use chart within a minute of starting up and clicking around for the first time. The various stylistic graphics for technical and business purposes mean dragging and dropping your way to a useful flowchart is a snap.
As soon as I got to the Garrett IA chart items, the natural reaction was to start plotting this site’s current setup. And some interesting things are coming of that. IA is obviously important, but has always been somewhat peripheral to me; the processes and information flows around here were developed unconsciously and intuitively. While this isn’t a terrible method for someone who uses the web daily and understands a lot of what not to do, a more formal plan of attack can’t hurt, can it?
It’s not a perfect tool, since the connecting lines can be sticky at times. There are countless things I’d change about the styling palette, and I find it odd that I can’t easily change a graphic after it has been set; perhaps answers will come after more use. Still, it’s an interesting little program, and a great addition to the toolbox.