The guidelines presented here are applicable to all types
of diagrams and are not specific to a single type of diagram.
The terms bubbles, lines, and labels are used throughout:
represent diagram elements such as class boxes, object boxes, use cases, and
represent diagram elements such as associations, dependencies, and
transitions between states.
represent diagram elements such as class names, association roles, and
Figure 1. Depicting crossing
Figure 2. Improving the attractiveness
of a diagram.
Figure 3. Indicating uncertainty
on a diagram.
- Crossing Lines Jump One Another. When you need to have two lines cross one of them should “hop" over
the other, using the notation that you see in Figure 1
borrowed from electrical-wiring diagrams.
Diagonal or Curved Lines
Consistently-Sized Bubbles. In the first version of the
diagram in Figure 2 the A bubble is larger than the
others, drawing attention to it.
- Show Only What You Have To
- Prefer Well-Known Notation Over Esoteric Notation
- Reorganize Large Diagrams Into Several Smaller Ones
- Include Whitespace In Diagrams
- Focus on Content First, Appearance Second
- Cleanup to Rethink a Diagram
- Organize Diagrams Left to Right, Top to Bottom
- Set and Follow Effective Naming Conventions
- Apply Common
Domain Terminology in Names
- Only Bring Language Naming
Conventions into Design Diagrams
- Indicate Unknowns with a Question Mark. Figure 3 depicts two examples.
- Consider Adding Color to Your Diagrams
Material for this article was summarized from Chapter 2
Elements of UML 2.0 Style.