Sunday, October 17, 2010

The commercial use of Mind maps

The commercial uses of mind maps are rare; aren’t they? Take a flow chart; it’s certainly used and seems to be in the mainstream than rather than Mind maps. Why has Mind maps struggled to be used as a commercial graphical communication tool? I believe the answer is rather simple; even professional graphical practitioners struggle to see the value of using Mind maps for everything. And if the professional graphical designers, such as involved within the Information Architecture and User Experience arena’s, hardly even use or even see the value in the commercial use of a mind map; well what chance does it have?

Ok, that was the extreme negative of the rejection or misunderstanding of the value of Mind maps for commercial use. I firmly believe though; Mind maps have an excellent usage potential within commercial arenas.

Over the years I have often been asked to create a few Mind mapped formats for commercial use. The range of use was for advertisements and for customer motivation relating to the way that information can be succinctly expressed.

This is where I believe Mind maps can excel. The mapped format is perfect for getting an advertisement or commercial product information across with clarity. The user experience is the focus of designing web pages that inform and at the same time educate the client, customer or student. And I wonder; wouldn’t it be advantageous to connect more closely with the IA/UX arena and learn from the professional designers of web communications and information management databases?

I highly recommend Jeff Parks, he has an excellent consultancy worth taking a close look at found here: I've spoken with Jeff about the importance of multiple graphical formats, and I find Jeff to be very open to the potential uses of Mind mapped formats within web design and commercial use.

Here are a few examples of Mind mapped formats that were compiled with a view to being used commercially. FYI, the examples viewed below were over sized prints which were plaqued for presentation purposes.

It would be rather interesting to see how other Mind mapping colleagues are using the mapped format within their commercial communications.

The software used to compile these examples were; MindManager and Mindview

1 comment:

Hans Terhurne said...

Thank you Wallace for your blog - something to think about.

Yes, I'm wondering too. Realizing that this personal effectiveness tool can save 20% of time (1/2 day per week) and, used in project and meeting management, it could be more than 35% (Mindjet report) I don't really understand why this visual mapping tool isn't used much more. Do the other tools work because they are used to map something that is outside your mind (a process, an organization, ...)? Is it sometimes too confronting seeing one thoughts in a structured way? But you're right - if it's about making a mind map for an advertisement or to develop a website structure this shouldn't be the problem, or ...?

As long as the mind map items are on 'on a distance' it seems to be easier to accept the results (see my project site on - mostly in Dutch). On the moment it's getting closer and clearer it seems to be be more confronting, for the individual as for a group or organization.

I'm interested in your reaction on this point of view!

Hans Terhurne