Before using a diagram (such as a process map or flowchart), consider whether the message can be communicated better through text, as users often find them difficult to understand.

All diagrams must be created by Digital Publishing. Consider whether you can reduce the complexity of the thing you are trying to convey, and contact the Content Design team at the earliest opportunity. We can help you decide if a text or table alternative may be more suitable.

If there is a user need to provide a diagram instead of a text explanation, it must:

  • have a clear starting point
  • follow normal reading direction, from left to right and top to bottom
  • avoid having overlapping lines or arrows
  • use simple shapes
  • use colours where the contrast meets WCAG AA standard (use a colour contrast checker) and do not use colour alone to convey meaning
  • be created by the Design team in Digital Publishing

Diagrams must also follow the same guidance for using images, including as little text as possible.

There is further guidance on how to format your information in the Data visualisation section.

We are constantly improving based on research and best practice. Any significant changes to our guidance are available on the Updates page.

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