Flow Organization – Reducing Number of Long Arrows

26 Nov
Flow Organization – Reducing Number of Long Arrows

Overall I’m a pretty organized person, and I definitely love simplicity and efficiency. One of the things that sort of drives me crazy when reading a Flow is if there are arrows pointing all over the place.

A complex flow can quickly become a bit of a spaghetti pile of long arrows, which can be very confusing to follow to say the least. Reducing the number of arrows pointing all over the place not only helps tidy up the flow, but helps with following the logic of the flow. So here is a neat little trick to reduce the number of arrows rambling across the work space, and at the same time add a little visible thought process.

Very Complex Flow

Very Complex Flow


Reducing the Number of Long Arrows

Here is an example of three elements that all point to the same element, leading to three long arrows rambling across the screen.

Lots of Long Arrows

Lots of Long Arrows

What I do to change this is create a “dummy” Assignment element that doesn’t do anything, position it close to the three elements where the arrows are originating from, point all those elements to the dummy element, then create one, single, easy to follow, arrow across the screen.

Tidy Flow with One Long Arrow

Tidy Flow with One Long Arrow

See how much easier that is on the eyes? 🙂 I realize this example is on a small flow and that there isn’t a whole lot of extra tidiness that that is being demonstrated, but imagine how much tidiness you can gain in a large flow where you have arrows going all over the place?!

Oh! And added bonus I almost forgot to mention: You can write a message in the Assignment label that tells you where the flow is going.

Arrow Gathering Assignment Element

Arrow Gathering Assignment Element

In the Assignment you’ll want to do something that won’t affect your flow. What I do is assign a variable to itself…that pretty much does nothing!

Links to Other Flow Organization Tips:

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Posted by on November 26, 2015 in Documentation, Flow Tips & Tricks, Visual Flow


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