There are many tools out there to draw beautiful diagrams. I use diagrams.net to draw most of my software architecture diagrams. They visually look like this example:
Why beautiful diagrams matter
No matter how it looks at first, it’s always a people problem. – Gerald Weinberg
What does this quote have to do with software architecture diagrams? A lot. Most people-problems involve bad, unclear, ambiguous, or missing communication. The purpose of a Software Architecture Diagram is to communicate an idea, a concept, a vision, or an agreement clearly.
This is maybe the most significant change a software developer who strives to become an architect might feel. The role of a Software Architect is all about proactive communication. In all directions.
Software architecture diagrams in general show the organization of a system. This includes components, their connections, and the actors using the system. The art is to find the sweet spot of the amount of detail in the diagram.
If you want to efficiently communicate (or document) your software architecture, you need comprehensive diagrams to visualize your ideas. If you communicate solely via text (written or spoken) people will lose focus quickly and have a hard time remembering your thoughts.
Carefully placed and chosen pictures can make you stand out. Look through your social media feeds, your favorite news site, or any blog article.
What catches your eye?
Which content can you grasp the quickest?
What grabs your attention when you skim the content?
Right, photos, images, and drawings. Not text. Text is way harder to process and remember for the brain than pictures.
A striking characteristic of human memory is that pictures are remembered better than words. … From an evolutionary perspective, the ability to remember various aspects of one’s visual environment must be vital for survival, so it is not surprising that memory for pictorial material is particularly well developed. – https://www.pnas.org/content/95/5/2703
I believe the same is true for documentation of software.