I suddenly find myself needing to create diagrams and wireframes. For my college dissertation, it’s generally easier to create my own diagrams than try to make existing ones ‘fit’. Take the Edgar Dale learning cone for example. I don’t want a big copyright xyz logo on it. Nor do i want a crappy pixellated version of it scanned in from book published in 1980… So although it’s time-consuming, designing your own stuff always looks better…
What is OmniGraffle?
It’s a diagramming application. Here’s an example of why it’s useful and what it can do…
Why not use visio?
Although i have Microsoft Visio, which is the windows equivalent of OmniGraffle (OmniGraffle is only available for Mac), i’ve grown fond of OmniGraffle’s usability and the large community around it. Graffletopia.com is full of free stencil templates on all sorts stuff. It just makes creating diagrams and templates easier.
Whether it’s a sitemap, a website, a database, mobile app… it helps you extract ideas from your head easily and that’s important. With opinions and views, i can blog away and express myself in words. But not everything is easily explained in words. Quite often my designs in photoshop are better than my blog posts themselves… they can say a lot even though they may contain no text.
But designing things from scratch in Photoshop can be quite time-consuming and intimidating, especially if you’re new to it. A lot of people fear a blank canvas or a blank blog post or a blank anything. They like to have something to start with or a set of options to choose from. Templates, stencils, fonts, styles etc… that’s really what OmniGraffle does, it gives you all that stuff and from there it’s a case of drag and drop. So creating diagrams is no longer intimidating.
If you look hard enough, you can get a pirate discount of 100% off the $99.95 price tag for OmniGraffle. It’s pretty steep if you’re not a pirate. Is it worth it? Well it depends how much you use it, or how often you create diagrams and sketches of things. You can install a 14 day trial version to test it out.
If you’re a student, like me, you don’t get quite the same 100% discount as a pirate, but you do get it for $59.95, saving you $40. That was enough to tempt me in to buying it and now that i have bought it, i’m determined to make it pay for itself quickly Expect plenty of weird and wacky diagrams from me from now on.