it pretty much deoes, yes.
When you do knits and purls next to each other the are differently high. In ribbing for example the purls fall back, the knits stick out.
When not done in colums like that, in some patterns the purls stick out towards the top.
Either way: you get structure.
you can write your own instruction for the symbols (or color squares):
symbol 1: knit on right side, purl on wrong side
symbol 2: purl on right side, knit on wrong side
and yes: when you knit flat (like not in the round) then you read the chart from left to right for the wrong side rows. and right to left for the right side rows.
The whole thing is written bottom to top, so start on the bottom right corner and work your way up.
Have fun with the pattern!
Mind it: SOME color work charts look great as structure, others do not cut it, really. But that you will see with your specific one.