In the theory section of my Computer Science thesis, I treat a toolbox to get a job done. In the introduction of the chapter, I will place a flow diagram showing the order and possible combinations of toolboxes, like so (but more complicated, I'd say around 12 interconnected boxes in 4 layers):
[A] [B] | / | \ | / | \ | / | \ [C] [D] [E]------[D]
I am typesetting on Din-A4 with rather big margins (because A4 is such a bad format for thesis...) and constantly feature marginpars (Quotes, Loosely related infos, ...).
I am toying with the idea of putting small versions of the flow diagram in the marginpar, with the currently described toolbox highlighted by color. Similar to a thumb-index, but not aligned to each other through pages, just one picture at the start of the sections.
What do you think about it typographically?
what do you think about it from a content perspective? Am I helping the reader too much?