Visualize the Architecture for HLD Document

3 min readSep 27, 2022

This article teaches how to visualize the architecture for the high level design (HLD) document, so that software engineers and technical writers can enhance communication.

A HLD document without diagrams is self-sustained but intangible. Humans prefers visualization over text, as the old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”. To share ideas effectively, you need to visualize the architecture as diagrams.

You can visualize the architecture using the following three principles:

  • Make it zoomable.
  • Make it clear.
  • Make it changeable.

Make it Zoomable

Make the visualization of architecture easy to zoom in and zoom out. The screen has limited space for describing everything in a single diagram. Practically, we create zoomable views for the architecture.

Think of using a map application. You see a country at first. Zoom in, you see cities for a country. Keep zooming in, you see roads and streets. Some map applications offer at-eye-level street views.

Like a map, a zoomable visualization typically involves three types of views:

  • Context.
  • System.
  • Component.


Context view describes the system boundary and the relationship with interacting entities. It helps to display how a system…