Monthly Archives: February 2013

Using Mind Maps for UX Design: Part 2 – Research Maps

Using Mind Maps for UX Design: Part 2 – Research Maps

In part 1 of the “Using Mind Maps for UX Design” series, I discussed how to use mind maps to create “sketch maps” that organize ideas in a tree-based structure where sketches are used as the way to illustrate those concepts. Mind maps have many other applications for UX designers. This article will focus on how to use mind maps for user research.

What are research maps?

Research maps are mind maps that can help you manage all aspects of user research, from planning, to conducting studies, through analysis and recommendations. Using mind maps to arrange elements of user research allows you to visually structure information in a way that helps you to make connections between research elements. For example, a research map could help you connect research goals with themes from your findings, identify connections across interviews or test sessions, or to match findings with recommendations. Instead of looking at different phases of user research in isolation (e.g. creating separate documents for your research plan, observations, and recommendations), a research map can help you see the big picture across all phases.

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Using Mind Maps for UX Design: Part 1 – Sketch Mapping

Using Mind Maps for UX Design: Part 1 – Sketch Mapping

Mind maps are diagrams that visually illustrate how words, phrases, ideas, or concepts relate to a central key word or phrase. They are a visual thinking tool that helps to structure information and identify connections between items.

To create a mind map, you simply start with a central idea, and branch out from that idea with each branch representing a topic related to that idea. Sub topics can be made in an infinite number of levels building off of each branch. It’s typically best to use colors and imagery in a mind map to help link together ideas in a way that’s easy to understand and remember.

Mind maps are powerful tools for User Experience professionals. In part 1 of this post series, I’ll explain how you can use mind maps to create “sketch maps.”

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inspireUX Redesign

After nearly 5 years, inspireUX was due for a redesign. My goal with the redesign was to simplify the design to put more emphasis on the content (after all, isn’t that what a blog is for?). Everything has been refreshed, the site is now responsive, and I’ve switched to a new web hosting company so everything should be much faster.

I’m aiming to get back into a more regular posting schedule, so you will soon be seeing more original articles.

If you have any comments about the redesign or have any suggestions for content you’d like to see here, let me know in the comments!