Five Presentation Rules to Draw Better UML Diagrams

Geert Bellekens has proposed five rules and best practices to draw better Unified Modeling Language (UML) diagrams. The UML diagramming best practices discussed in his blog post are:

  1. Avoid large diagrams with too many items, as UML diagrams containing heaps of elements actually convey less information than smaller and focussed diagrams.
  2. Avoid any two lines in your diagram crossing each other. This will make your diagram more readable and understandable.
  3. Lines in a diagram should go only horizontal or vertical, with only right angles.
  4. Parent elements should be higher than the child elements in generalization or realization hierarchies of UML Class diagrams.
  5. Diagrams should be nice and clean to make a positive impression.

His conclusion is that “[…] following these diagramming rules will not make you a better analyst, nor will it result in better UML models. But it will allow you to make a better impression when trying to explain the fruits of your hard labor to your stakeholders.”

You can read the full blog post on