Draw Sitemaps and Diagrams the Easy Way

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If you’re like me, you’re not a designer. And yet from time to time, you want to visualize some changes to a website: adding pages, removing pages, moving pages from one section of your site to another.

I used to be intimidated to create these simple diagrams, because I don’t use or own Balsamiq, Omnigraffle, Axure, or whatever the cool kids use.

So when I found this tool, it changed my life.

OK, it didn’t change my life, but it sure made it easier. Because this tool lets a non-designer like me create architecture diagrams and sitemaps as quick as you please.

The tool

“What is this magical tool of wonder” you ask, “and how much does it cost?”

I’m 92% sure you already own this tool. It’s called Google Drive.

More specifically, Google Drawings. Here’s what you do:

Step 1: Go to your Google Drive, click Create, and choose Drawing. (It’s the last option in my drop-down.)

 

First, go to Google Drive.

First, go to Google Drive.

Step 2. Behold! The blank pasteboard. I usually start with Shapes, and put some squares on mine.

Your options for creating drawings in Google Drive.

Your options for creating drawings in Google Drive.

Step 3. Add whatever lines, arrows, and text you need. Just choose what you want and drag it where you want it. Simple.

Here’s an example of a sitemap I created using Google Drawings. Click to enlarge.

An example sitemap from a real project I worked on.

An example sitemap from a real project I worked on.

It’s basic, but for my purposes—helping me understand what we want to do, and communicating that to other team members—it works.

Do you have any secret weapons? Or cool Google Drive tricks to share? Comment and let me know!