A new standard for Documentation
November 03, 2021
A new standard for Documentation
SOUTHWORKSComputer Software, 201-500 employees
Score 10 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Lucidchart
Really easy to use, and being serverless also helps a lot in that. So the first thumb up, no need of installing anything, it's just another tab in your browser. The UI is really simple, you have everything that you need at hand, and when searching more advanced tools, like searching a specific shape, it's just a matter of a few clicks. Lucidchart has multiple well-made integrations that make the process of sharing the charts way easier and make them accessible to other contributors.
We use Lucidchart across the whole organization. It can be used between engineers to describe the architecture of a solution, or between engineers and business/operations to describe processes and systems relationships. It provides a 'standard' way of visual communication between all teams and contributors. Being an adaptable tool allows different specialists to provide this visual information and yet keep the standard benefit. It integrates perfectly with most of the tools present in the daily cycle of an engineer's team (at least in our case). Slack, Jira, DevOps, Teams, etc, all have perfect integration with Lucidchart making it easier to allow all the helpful information created within the tool to be shareable in messages, board tasks, stories, etc. Wherever you need your chart to be, you can put it there. Being a serverless solution also allows non-technical contributors to install other software in their machines. They can do what they need to do from anywhere online, and from engineers that usually have dozens of different tools, Lucidchart is a free spot for a tool that you're going to use a lot! You just open a new tab and there you are, creating a new helpful diagram.
- Serverless. You don't need to install another program to create diagrams, you just open a new tab and there you are, ready to go.
- Collaboration. You don't need to update your colleague diagram by creating a new file and creating a new file version, you both are in the same diagram and you and all the team are free to update it at any time, at the same time, you are seeing the same thing. That is really helpful and time-saving.
- Shapes. It has any shape that you can think of and Lucidchart is always updating them, I can create an Azure solution architecture, an AWS one, an old on-premise solution. Or just put standard shapes to describe a business process. Providing so many specific shapes help the diagram to express specific information, and for specific teams, that's less text and more visual information, you don't need to put a text below a standard database shape (this is an Azure SQL database), you just put the azure shape and done. That....is beautifully helpful.
- Diagram Size. Some times had happened that the size of the diagram is not reflected for all the users, maybe it is a wrong use of the tool, but then it should be more clear what size the users are seeing. Because sharing a chart and then other users enter and they can not read even letters. It's really annoying in my opinion.
- Individual Pricing. I think it's really awesome that they have the free option, and that it provides all the important features. I'm really grateful for that. But, at the same time, I think they could provide a way of 'paying for extra documents' instead of just paying directly a fixed amount. Maybe the user just needs this fourth chart to have and yet he needs to pay for having the unlimited option.
- Multiple accounts option or Workspaces. I would benefit a lot for a similar Workplace Slack experience for Lucid. Companies are starting to use a lot of Lucid and at some point start to have an annoying logout and login again with different accounts. I think Slack and other tools have resolved this pretty well and Lucid could follow this as lessons learned.
- Time-saving. 'A picture is worth a thousand words' is the idea when creating a diagram, a quick glance and you understand more than reading a 10k line Readme file.
- Improved documentation. For a software engineer team, documentation is ALWAYS a problem, some of us leave a meeting recording of a KT, some just readme files. Lucidchart introduces a better standard way to leave behind documentation from a solution.
- Improved onboardings. New to the team? You can go and see the charts from the solution.
Lucidchart is beginning to be a standard tool between software development teams, and being in one of those teams. I can say it is really helpful and time-saving that integrating our charts to other standard tools present on any software team is already resolved and not a painful experience. We depend on all these tools to communicate and integrate the efforts of the whole team, and the amount tools do not seem to be decreasing, so relying on Lucidcharts integrations makes us know we have the correct tool to store and create our documentation.
We haven't had problems with the tool so we haven't made use of the support itself; but, at the same time, the community is growing and there is plenty of information when you have a question around how to do something. That is a benefit when the tool is highly adopted for more and more companies, you have a mature enough community behind scenes creating helpful content around how to use the tool in multiple ways.
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- Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365)
When making a diagram we usually used tools like PowerPoint just to put the shapes and the relationship lines between them and express visual information of the architecture of a solution. When more effort was needed sometimes one could use free online tools that provide similar features, but going from that background and now using Lucidchart is a huge jump. The standard it creates and the unlimited amounts of shapes that it provide, is an incredibly positive change, and when a company starts using Lucidchart you can see how many documentations start being charts instead of random readme files.
For a software engineer team, Lucidchart is an amazing tool to have (and I go with this example because it's my daily scenario). Instead of having 10k lines of readme files trying to explain how a whole solution works, or just having and maintaining hundreds of pdf files hanging around the whole organization drive; Lucidchart provides a serverless solution for resolving any diagram requirement by just opening a new tab in your browser. Also, it completely satisfies the 'exquisite' requirement of software developers in terms of shapes. Do you want to put an AWS lambda shape? You have it. An Azure function? You have it. A docker container? You have it. You have any shape that you want there, and if a new tool appears tomorrow, you just wait a few weeks, and it's going to be there. You can rely so much information on the visual 'powers' of this tool, you can create a specific diagram for your always specific solutions, and architectures and trust that the person who will be reading it understands those specifications by just a first glance of the diagram, and not need to look at text specifying which tool you used for something.