“light” diagram tools usually belong to one of 2 types:
These tools make it easy to draw some types of diagrams. For example, a class diagram tool will include such features as a class box with a dedicated area for the class name and another for its properties. With such a tool you will be able to link 2 class objects together with a line so that when you move one of the classes, the line automatically updates so the classes are still linked.
In general, these tools have some semantic understanding of your diagram which they use to make life easy for you.
But the downside for all this help is that you are very restricted to what the tool designers implemented.
If you want to do a different diagram or use a UML feature that is not implemented in the tool, you are out of luck.
These tools will let you do anything – paste clip art, draw lines and text wherever you want. You can create any type of diagram with these tools but doing anything a little complicated will be very hard.
creatly is a great tool for drawing diagrams.
It doesn’t have a learning curve at all – I just started using it. I didn’t even need to sign up – I used my google account (and you can use other accounts, e.g. facebook).
I found it very versatile and was able to create class diagrams as well as simple mock ups and other types of diagrams.
Whatever I needed was already there. You can drag a class box or a clip art or UI widget. If you hover over an object in the diagram you get a toolbar that lets you easily add text or link the object to other objects using a line or an arrow.
When I finished a drawing, I exported it into a PNG and then just closed the browser tab. The diagram was saved automatically.
This is what I like – my objective is to write a post and I need some diagrams to make the post clearer. creatly let me focus on getting the diagram done with 0 time spent in managing the application.
I can really appreciate the thought that went into designing this tool.