What are diagrams for?
Diagrams are graphical means to communicate concepts and ideas. So long a diagram clearly conveys its intended meaning - it's job done.
Graphical vocabulary is rich. Concepts can be conveyed using different colours, shapes, arrowheads, thickness, position, to name a few.
There is usually an inverse proportion between how much you put in and clarity; in that the more you include the less clear the whole thing becomes.
Visual > Semantic
Where the Mona Lisa is just plain pretty, the visuals in a diagram are just proxies to some semantics. For example, a rectangle denotes a page, a directional line denotes a dependency, and so on.
You can overload a diagram both ways:
- To many visuals (like 1000 nodes) or
- Too many visual features (too many shapes, colours, sizes etc.)
- Semantic - too many concepts being involved.
One of the most common classification of diagrams is:
- Static - communicate the relatedness between concepts that does not change over time.
- Dynamic - communicate how things change over time, or a flow in time.
A sitemap is in principle a static diagram - it shows the structure of your site, in what is typically a tree layout. That structure doesn't change over time, nor meant to convey dynamic (over time) aspects of the site.
A flow diagram is a dynamic diagram, it shows how users navigate progress through a process over time.
Worth noting that there are hybrids, but mostly in the form of dynamic diagrams where boundaries denote parents (a 2 level deep structure).
Things to watch for
It is somewhat surprising to see a box titled
Edit Calendar in a site map. Editing is interactive and should be part of dynamic modelling. A
Calendar page seems more fitting for a sitemap.
In option two, there are directional arrows (again, a thing you'll normally see in a dynamic diagram). Given it's for a sitemap, I assume there will also be non-directional connections? If so, then consider that readers need to infer what these two types mean, which is an example of potential overloading.
Consider what exactly are you trying to communicate. If it's a sitemap in the traditional sense, it shouldn't include
Edit nor flow semantic.