There is a plethora of online services that allow you to create charts and diagrams online, in the cloud.
Whether you are a designer, manager or just need a service to record ideas – I’ve suggested to number of clients using a service like this to ‘mind-map’ desired features on a site, or creating a site map for web site.
Lovely Charts is going to be in demand the next few months. They have been in public beta since November by the way, so keep an eye on their site for more updates.
They just work, very clean and intuitive to use. Not all of them have collaboration and exporting (PNG, SVG, PDF) features which makes the ones that do feel like they are going to stick around.
Here are some similar services
These type of free collaborative services are already very popular, and the services that can scale with user growth and be correctly funded will surely add new features to make their service more powerful in 2009.
Why do these web services exist?
- Online services reduce the need for smaller agencies to buy expensive licenced desktop based software
- A majority of ‘cloud’ based services are practically free
- Always on, and access the files where ever you are in the world – no need to carry a USB stick, you just need an internet connection
- Great for working remotely with clients and suppliers who may not have the same software
As it is all done through an internet browser like Firefox it makes communicating much more instant and makes your project process a whole lot smoother and enjoyable for all involved.
The files shared through these services can also act as a specification for your work, making your project tighter by having documentation to refer to when ever you need to.
Conclusion: Free services + being able to communicate more effectively with your team and clients = WIN