IDYeah had a Voice

UX, Usability and Design

Mind Maps

Mind Map – What are we communicating?

mindmapI have witnessed plenty of Mind maps over the past few years, since I was introduced to the concept. Each time I had to consume one, it almost always gave way to my imagining a 3rd world alien creature. The producers of course took pride in the creation peppered with information (think of a humble pizza with so many toppings that you can hardly see or taste singularly!). A few simple questions often revealed that the creators only knew how to use the Mind mapping tool. They didn’t solve the problem of lack of clarity; in fact they amplified it.

I always questioned at the inevitable complexity of the diagram called Mind map. Yes, it may seem correct that since it’s supposed to map a mind, most of us would have a cluttered mess of thoughts, and it would spit out such a complexity as a natural output. And the tools are overwhelming too; people feel encouraged to stuff as much information as possible – to probably demonstrate the degree of work done. I’ve also seen people to allow complexity in the structure on purpose, so that the “expertise” can be discouraging for others to attempt mind maps.

Anyways, I finally had my first experiment at creating a mind map. This was for an assignment in an online course I’m participating in – Crash course on Creativity by Stanford University. The faculty is Tina Seelig, and the course is on the platform: Venture Lab.

Since I was committed to learning, my resistance (and phobia) of mind map had to go. I always dreaded at the thought of creating something too complex while advocating clarity and simplicity as my business offering. In brief, the assignment was to map the mind after a 30-minute walk in the place of your choice. My biggest learning came from observing what my esteemed colleagues (total strangers) had achieved. Most of the creations I observed had something to teach.

I am lucky to present few such creations – having the respective permissions in place. These are in no particular order (and I might add few more when I get more approvals; so watch this space…)

Go ahead…embrace the thought-process, the raw solution approach, the creativity, and the mastery in storytelling. Get inspired.

#1 The Park as a Micro Universe by Artist: Elsa Mora | Website | Facebook Profile

the-park-as-a-micro-universe

#2 Anatomy of a Rose Garden by Artist: Kim Kasabian | LinkedIn Profile

anatomy-of-a-rose-garden

#3 The Power of a Sunlight by Artist: Vanessa Kapinski | LinkedIn Profile

the-power-of-a-sunlight

#4 A Soccer Match by Artist: Alvaro Peon | Email | Facebook Profile

a-soccer-match

#5 A 30 Mins Walk by Artist: Oluwatosin Oyewole | Email | LinkedIn Profile | About Me

30-mins-walk

#6 I am Blindfolded by Artist: Samar Mezghani | LinkedIn Profile

i-am-blindfolded

#7 Nature Observation by Artist: Lamees Shalash | LinkedIn Profile | Google+ Profile

nature-observation

#8 From my Shoes Point-of-view by Artist: Catalina Lagos | Facebook Profile

Shoes' point of view

#9 Walk Down the Street by Artist: Lorie Bacon

walk-down-the-street

#9 I’m Sick! by Artist: Stephanie Dyke | Website

i-m-sick

#10 A Cold Day by Artist: Valentina Ruiz | Email

a-cold-day

#11 Nature is Creativity by Artist: Astrid Aquino | Email

nature-is-creativity

#12 Shower Time by Artist: Anastasia Senchukova | LinkedIn Profile

shower-time

#13 A Walk Inside Out by Artist: Lidia Barboza Norbis | LinkedIn Profile

walk-inside-out

#14 Great Day at Swimming Pool by Artist: Larisa Popescu | LinkedIn Profile

great-day-at-swimming-pool

#15 One Slow Walk by Artist: Tania Ahlfeldt | LinkedIn Profile

one-slow-walk

#16 Senses by Artist: Sara Vila | LinkedIn Profile | Email | Portfolio

senses

#17 Walk With The Emporer by Artist: Bryndie Beach | Blog

walk-with-the-emporer

#18 Simplicity in Complexity by Artist: Lizz Robb | Email | Website | LinkedIn Profile

simplicity-in-complexity

and here’s mine…

#0 Walk With 5 Senses by Artist: Vishal Mehta | LinkedIn Profile

walk-with-5-sensesIf you must create mind maps, please forget the tools and start focusing on the ideas and purpose of the mind map. Like every creation in the world, the diagram also is first created in mind, then on the tool, not the other way round.

If you wish to use any of the above graphics, please do so only after seeking approval from the respective artists.

Happy Mind Mapping!

Vishal Mehta

Vishal Mehta

Vishal Mehta is a UX professional, hands-on designer and coder. He is a consultant to product companies in San Francisco Bay Area. He loves to play chess and design solutions in spare time. He ran a UX company, IDYeah Creations for six years in India. His expressions can be found on popular platforms like UX Booth, Technorati and SAP Community Network.

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12 Comments

  1. Hi Vishal Mehta, congratulations for this Creative Blog! It’s Great!
    Your team- & class-mate in Crash Course in Creativity/Stanford University

    Lidia from Uruguay

  2. Thanks Lidia. One can’t go wrong with so many right ingredients. Am glad with the connect our course is bringing. Lets continue the excitement.

  3. Vishal, this is a fantastic post. I love all the mind maps here, they’re inspiring. Thanks a lot!

  4. Thanks, Elsa. I expect a few more to feature in here. You are leading the pack! Feel free to share the post in your social bubble.

  5. vanessa Kapinski

    May 13, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    Vishal,
    Great Blog! And this article is just fantastic! I’ve learned much more about it through your words and these mind map works. Thank you for inviting me to make part of it, I am very honored. I will keep following your admirable work. Congratulations!
    Vanessa

  6. Vishal, you’ve succeeded on two fronts – creating a beautiful map and opening your mind to a process that you had misgivings about before the assignment. Bravo!

  7. Thanks Vanessa. Am glad that you found something worthwhile.

  8. Hey thanks Kim. Hope to keep generating more content of interest. Feel free to suggest something that you fancy.

  9. Astrid Aquino

    May 14, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    Nice blog Vishal… Congrats! And wonderful topic to discuss indeed. Mind maps let you and your mind to explore spaces, ideas and thoughts that you didn’t know were there… it’s wonderful! Thanks for sharing such masterpieces. See you!

  10. Thanks Astrid. Glad you liked the content. We should explore collaborating for more such topics ahead…

  11. I love the initiative!! very good blog and article! thanks for shearing with us!

  12. Thanks Sara for your contribution.

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