If you’re like me, you probably have hundreds of unorganized thoughts running around your head at top speed all the time. I’ve always got different ideas pulling me in different directions and sometimes I wish my brain came with a filing cabinet or a secretary to help me organize. Thankfully something like that does exist in the real world and they’re called mind maps.
As someone whose brain, as I just mentioned, runs at top speed all the time I find mind maps very helpful. I’ve used mind maps in the past to figure out what I want to do with my future and how I want to improve how I was living my day to day life. Mind maps work for me and I’ve always been a big fan of them. But I don’t want to jump too far into my love for mind maps before I explain what they really are and how they work. Emerald publishers describe mind maps as, “A way of linking key concepts using images, lines and links. A central concept is linked via lines to other concepts which in turn are linked with other associated ideas.” I like this definition quite a bit, because it includes that fact that all of these ideas should link together and form one huge well, map! You should be able to trace your mind map from idea to idea and get one full complete picture.
So let’s put this to the test. I’m going to see how a mind map can help explore different common ideation methods and case studies and see how they all relate to one another while still being unique. A little background brought to us by the Interaction Design Foundation,
“Ideation is the mode of the design process in which you concentrate on idea generation. Mentally it represents a process of “going wide” in terms of concepts and outcomes. Ideation provides both the fuel and also the source material for building prototypes and getting innovative solutions into the hands of your users.”
Basically I’m going to use an ideation method to explain other ideation methods. In my mind map I’m going to explore different ways to de-clutter your brain and get what you want to know on paper. Or ipad in my case. I’m a digital artist and I don’t like wasting paper so I’m going to show you what my mind map looks like below.
Ta-da! Here is my beautiful, messy, looks like a three year old went crazy with a box of crayons mind map. And while this may be a lot to taken in for the viewer, it makes complete sense to me and I learned a lot about different ideation methods.
I compared the ideation methods of brain storming, worst idea possible, creative pause and sketch storm. Through this mind map I remembered something that I love about the ideation process. There’s no one way to do it because every way is guaranteed to get your great results. Every method challenges your brain to work in new ways, without the fear of judgment because, as you can see at the top in my favorite color (teal) there’s no such thing as a bad idea with ideation! Mind maps and ideation are great because they don’t judge you and help you be your best self.
PDF version of mind map: mind map