Visual Excellence

We look at the Level Indicator


Over the years I have developed a vast array of bespoke shapes and features for customers' process maps. This is the first in a series of articles exploring the varied options developed; in this article I am focusing on the Level Indicator.

Level Indicators are shapes or fields embedded into the process map Node, that indicate the level of the process map that you are looking at. The benefit to the Library end user, is that when they use a search tool to find a process map, the Level Indicator will show them what level the process map is on, without them needing to drill up to the top level to find out. I've set out my view of the pros and cons of each, in the hope that this may be helpful for you when determining the Level Indicator that best meets your requirements.Level Indicators fall into four categories:

Traffic light

A series of shapes that change to highlight the level.


  • Looks great!
  • Useful at a glance.
  • Every one we've done so far has been unique.


  • They can take a lot of space from the rest of the Node.
  • They often take the longest to build.
  • They are limited to a certain number of levels.

Single Shape

A single visual element on the Node that contains level information and more!


  • Nice and simple while still visually appealing.
  • Take very little space from the Node.
  • You can use them with any number of levels, important if your Mapping Policy supports drilldown to any number of levels.


  • Need to be careful that they stand out on the Node, without clashing with other similar design elements, i.e. the Feedback E-mail shape and the Up-to-Parent button.
  • There is no indication of the total number of levels.

Custom text on the Node

An area on the Node that contains a text description of the level.


  • Very simple.
  • Doesn't distract from the basic look of the Node.


  • Doesn't add much to the look of the Node.

A whole Node change

A visual change to the Node to indicate the level on which the Node resides.


  • It looks great!
  • It takes no space on the Node what-so-ever, because it's integrated.
  • It can change colour with each level.
  • Useful at a glance.


  • Can take over the look of the Node - wouldn't work where strict branding guidelines apply.

Are you interested in having a Level Indicator on your process maps or looking to improve the functionality of your Stencil and Template? If so, would be happy to discuss this with you.

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