Venn Diagram Template User Guide: Make a Venn Diagram to Organize and Present Your Data Visually

Venn Diagram Template User Guide: Make a Venn Diagram to Organize and Present Your Data Visually

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a Venn diagram is worth at least that many. Why write a whole page on the relationships between different data sets when you can convey the same ideas easily with a few overlapping circles?

Instantly recognizable and easy to understand, the Venn diagram continues to be a favorite method to assess and deliver information visually. A Venn diagram tells viewers at a glance how its subjects compare and contrast on key points. In business, Venn diagrams help us understand important relationships between concepts, products, team roles, marketing demographics, and other aspects of our work.

Read on to discover practical ways your business can use a Venn diagram maker for documentation, presentations, marketing, product design, and more.

What is a Venn diagram?

A Venn diagram is a simple yet powerful visual tool that demonstrates the logical relationships among two or more data sets. Venn diagrams use overlapping circles to illustrate the relevant commonalities and differences between its subjects.

As internet users scrolling through a lot of text each day, we connect instantly with a Venn diagram online. The straightforward form of the Venn diagram cuts through the noise to focus our attention on just the ideas the creator wants us to consider.

Where are Venn diagrams used?

The Venn diagram has a wide range of applications due to its ability to convey important relationships at a glance. This is why we see Venn diagrams pop up everywhere, from boardroom business presentations to high school textbooks to viral memes.

Venn diagrams come in all forms: silly or serious, simple or complex, conceptual or concrete. As a work tool, the Venn diagram is used in fields as wide-ranging as business, logic, linguistics, statistics, education, mathematics, and computer science.

What purposes does a Venn diagram serve?

A Venn diagram is generally created for one of two reasons:

  • Exploration. We can use a Venn diagram as a process tool to discover the overlaps in our data sets. In this case, we start with the circles we want to explore, then examine the intersections to ask what we’ll find there.
  • Explanation. Other times we know what ideas we want to convey, and we’re seeking a concise way to do this. The Venn diagram streamlines this process and helps us communicate the needed information to the viewer quickly and powerfully.

Of course the first type of Venn diagram sometimes evolves into the second one. For instance, you explore a product development strategy on a Venn diagram by seeing where the needs of different target markets intersect. Then you clean up your Venn diagram for a presentation to help explain your process to other stakeholders.

What Venn diagram pitfalls do I need to avoid?

There’s one overarching principle of Venn diagram creation: Your intersections and subsets must follow Venn diagram logic. Wherever a data set appears, be sure the data applies to that intersection and only that intersection on the diagram.

This may sound straightforward, but a Venn diagram online search will quickly turn up diagrams with logical inconsistencies. As your Venn diagrams get more complex, verify that each intersection accurately describes the overlapping circles and also logically excludes all circles that do not overlap.

This principle brings up a related issue: Don’t use a Venn diagram when it isn’t the appropriate visual tool. Your business slogan or vision statement doesn’t necessarily translate into a Venn diagram. For instance, a company may advertise “collaboration, innovation, dedication” but that doesn’t mean the business name should be at the heart of a three-circle Venn diagram. That is, of course, unless you can populate the diagram intersections with features or services that address each of the two intersecting points but not the third. A bunch of empty intersections defeats the purpose of using a Venn diagram in the first place and indicates that you should select a different visual illustration method.

What are the main Venn diagram types? 

Venn Diagram template on
Venn Diagram template on

A Venn diagram is a flexible way to investigate or demonstrate the important similarities and differences between two or more subjects. Venn diagrams take any number of forms depending on their individual purpose. Here are some of the common ones:

Two-circle Venn diagram 

The most basic form of the Venn diagram consists of two intersecting circles. This version is commonly used to list multiple relevant features of its two subjects. Think of your two-circle Venn diagram as the graphic version of answering a “compare and contrast” question on a test.

For instance, an elementary school lesson about mammals and birds might use a Venn diagram to understand how the two relate. Birds have feathers, lay eggs to reproduce, and feed their young food from their own mouths. Mammals typically have fur or hair, give birth to live young, and produce milk to feed their offspring. Birds and mammals are both warm-blooded vertebrates with lungs for respiration.

The Venn diagram doesn’t include everything students need to know about these two groups. It just highlights some main points that differentiate birds and mammals biologically, and some important things they share in common.

Three-circle Venn diagram

Let’s say in our classroom example above that our students are also studying fish. Their textbook could include a three-circle Venn diagram to compare and contrast fish with both birds and mammals. 

Like birds, fish typically reproduce by laying eggs. Fish and mammals have teeth, while birds do not. Mammals have four limbs, birds have two limbs and two wings, and fish have no limbs. Unlike both mammals and birds, fish have scaly bodies, breathe using gills, are cold-blooded, and in most cases do not stick around to care for their young.

At the center of the Venn diagram are some common characteristics of all three groups: being in the animal kingdom, being classified as vertebrates, and having circulatory systems to pump blood.

Venn diagram with subsets

A Venn diagram doesn’t have to be symmetrical like the two examples above. Some Venn diagram applications call for data subsets to compare and contrast their subjects. Let’s move our example class out of biology and into math to consider a common Venn diagram found in basic geometry.

Any shape with four straight sides is called a quadrilateral. A quadrilateral whose sides are parallel to each other is called a parallelogram. Students need to know three types of parallelograms:

  • Rectangle: any parallelogram whose angles are all 90 degrees
  • Rhombus: any parallelogram with four sides of equal lengths
  • Square: a parallelogram with the properties of both a rectangle and a rhombus

A simple Venn diagram shows the geometry class how these shapes relate, and how a trapezoid is not a parallelogram but is still a quadrilateral. Notice how the Venn diagram creates an easy visual reference for concepts that could otherwise get confusing quickly.

Scaled Venn diagram

Sometimes a Venn diagram shows how its subjects are similar and different qualitatively while also visually demonstrating their relative size. Venn diagrams explaining population data, for example, are easier to comprehend and more visually logical when the numbers inside each circle correlate with that circle’s area.

Let’s say you want to make a Venn diagram of workplace survey results. The survey asked where people prefer to work: remotely or in the office. Your Venn diagram has two overlapping circles labeled “remote” and “office.” The intersection shows respondents who prefer a hybrid workplace. The survey results indicate the following:

  • 60% of employees prefer fully remote work.
  • 15% want to work daily in the office.
  • 25% find a mixture of the two is best.

Your Venn diagram will naturally contain these percentages, since the survey is the point of the diagram. But it will be more powerful visually if the area of the circles and their intersection are proportionate to the data inside them. 

When would I make a Venn diagram for business?

How do the Venn diagram examples above relate to a business that makes software products? Let’s look at some ways you can use different forms of the Venn diagram in the world of development work.

Communicate with users in a Venn diagram online.

An attractive Venn diagram is a great way to convey key information to customers visiting your website. Compare products or services to highlight the features your target customer is most interested in. Contrast your product with a competing product or service. Or, show how your own offerings compare to each other to help the user select the one that’s best for their needs.

Use a simple two-circle Venn diagram to show features differences between products. Or, use circles within circles to demonstrate upgrade options. The largest circle shows the full package of features, and the smallest circle shows what users receive with the free version of the product.

Understand your target customers to prioritize development. 

Analyze the intersection of your different target market segments on a Venn diagram. Place user personas A, B, and C in three overlapping circles. What does each one want from your product? Where are their pain points? What are they asking you for, directly or indirectly? If your user groups are different sizes, represent this with larger and smaller circles to weigh your considerations appropriately.

Now study your new feature ideas based on who they will benefit, and add these solutions to the appropriate diagram intersection. Which solutions serve one, two, or all three target customer bases? If a feature brings value mainly to one type of user, place that feature in that circle only. The middle of your Venn diagram indicates your highest priority development opportunities. 

From here, assess the other intersections in terms of how crucial they are to that customer base. Certain solutions may serve a smaller demographic but be especially important to those customers. The Venn diagram helps you prioritize your broad appeal features first and order the product backlog from there.

Form a clearer picture of branding opportunities.

Explore how your brand intersects with your various user personas in order to reach each target demographic more effectively. Create a basic Venn diagram where the two circles represent your product’s overall brand vision and the lifestyle of a given user persona. 

Add your market research data points to the second circle, then strategize the intersection of your brand’s offerings and your customers’ desires. Do this for each user persona to create targeted sales strategies that speak to your different bases.

Document cross-functional collaboration expectations.

Clarify team roles and responsibilities with a Venn diagram showing who’s accountable for doing which types of work. Use circles to represent two or three teams, then label the intersections to show where these teams are jointly responsible for certain tasks or project outcomes.

This process can also help clarify different management responsibilities. Where do the roles of the Product Owner and product manager intersect? How do these two job functions interact with the project manager or head of the marketing team? A Venn diagram maker helps you think through individual and joint responsibilities as well as document them for general reference.

Highlight important information for stakeholders.

Use a Venn diagram to illustrate key points when you create your next whiteboard slide presentation for company execs or screen-record a demo for your project team. Whiteboards’ Venn Diagram template features translucent circles that perfectly blend overlapping colors so you can create visually appealing diagrams for professional presentations with very little time investment. Focus yourself and your viewers on the most important points by showing off your data in a way that stands out and sticks with the audience. 

How do I use the Venn Diagram template?

Venn Diagram template on
Venn Diagram template on

Whether you’re collaborating with coworkers via video chat or creating visuals for your next presentation, the Venn Diagram template produces stunning results with minimal effort. Add the template to your virtual canvas and customize it to suit your process or design:

  • Add or subtract circles. The template starts with a three-circle Venn diagram. Delete a circle or alternately copy-paste to add as many circles as you need.
  • Change shapes. Circles are the Venn diagram standard, but if you want to get creative choose from a palette of shapes to change things up.
  • Edit text. Adjust the size, color, alignment, and style of your text to tweak the appearance of your Venn diagram. 
  • Adjust circle size and color. Drag the corners of your shapes to change their sizes. Demonstrate proportionality between different data sets or use smaller circles within larger ones to illustrate subsets. Select different colors for your circles and their borders to match your presentation color scheme.
  • Create Jira issues. Any text on your Whiteboards templates can become a Jira issue in two clicks. If your Venn diagram session leads to next steps in development work, add these to your project backlog without leaving Whiteboards. Convert the relevant text to a new Jira issue, import existing issues from Jira, and manage any of these items on the digital canvas. Whiteboards’ native Jira integration ensures all changes sync in Jira. Meanwhile, edits made in Jira also appear instantly on the whiteboard for seamless project management.

Ready to create a Venn diagram online? Try out Whiteboards for free to get the Venn Diagram template and over 100 other customizable templates for marketing, design, and development work.