What is an Activity Diagram?
An activity diagram is a block diagram of sequential and parallel activities that capture user interactions with a product, service or system.
Why an Activity Diagram?
It brings clarity to our understanding of the user activity flow, and can be used to discover opportunities for automation, removing unnecessary steps users take, combining functions and potential failure modes.
Method Card Reference
Observe (or hypothesize)
the activities and user interactions with a product, service or system (PSS)
each step individually on a Post-it Note
the activities in a single block diagram with directed arrows
with another user to validate your diagram
extract insights, foresights and latent needs
Activities should start with verbs (action words)
Work on naming activities first as an individual then refine it as a group
This video gives you a walk-through on how to create an Activity Diagram, through a worked example of a Autonomous Vehicle Design Challenge.
Here are examples of Activity Diagrams done for products, services and systems.
Hammer, M. (2014, August 01). Reengineering Work: Don't Automate, Obliterate. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/1990/07/reengineering-work-dont-automate-obliterate
Camburn, Bradley A., Jan M. Auernhammer, Karen Hui En Sng, Paul J. Mignone, Ryan M. Arlitt, K. Blake Perez, Zack Huang, Subarna Basnet, Lucienne T. Blessing, and Kristin L. Wood. "Design Innovation: A Study of Integrated Practice." In ASME 2017 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (IDETC), pp. V007T06A031-V007T06A031. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2017.
Teo, K., Wee, Y., Swee, A., Altybayeva, A., Gopal, M., Kamiso, N., Foo, D., Lauff, C., Wood, K.L., “Design Innovation (DI) Learning Modules,” SUTD-MIT International Design Centre (IDC), SUTD, Singapore, idc.sutd.edu.sg, 2018.