[FoRK] Re: Mindmaps

Ken Meltsner meltsner
Thu Jun 30 08:12:40 PDT 2005

Some people think this way -- they need to see the forest (and how the
root structure is intertwined) rather than the trees.  Trying to train
engineers over the years has helped me recognize that there are a wide
range of learning and thinking styles, most of which are effective.

I came across Barbara Minto and her pyramid method, which is shown
using mind maps/ trees despite the name.  Apparently it's all the rage
at McKinsey and other big consulting firms.  When I've looked at the
same sort of problems, I tend to draw hierarchical use case diagrams
or don't bother with pictures at all.

I tend to agree that the traditional tree/graph visualization is less
effective for me than an outline.  Some people work best by sorting
items into bins or boxes, but I like hierarchies, especially if I had
a tool that would support multiple hierarchies.  Lord knows, there are
even people that think best in tables and SQL.

I'm skeptical of approaches that claim to have the optimal
representation for any sort of information -- e.g. information mapping
-- regardless of audience.  Sadly, most people do such a horrible job
of capturing and presenting information that any disciplined approach
is likely to be substantially more effective.

In a perfect world, an information organization/outliner/mind mapper
tool would be able to switch, on the fly, between views and would even
handle "two-view" applications where changes to one view are
immediately shown in the other view.  Way long ago, there were
research projects to develop two-view graphics editors, for example,
where you could either write code or use a MacDraw-like tool on the
same document at the same time.
Ken Meltsner

On 6/30/05, Corinna <schultz at harlingen.isd.tenet.edu> wrote:
> What would you use it for? I've never really seen the point of "graphical
> organizers" but that's probably just due to ignorance...
> For instance, does something like this aid in designing software? (I usually
> just divide up a sheet a paper and make lists of things that go together.)
> Or coming up with a solution to a specific problem?
> I can see how a web site's overall structure can be designed this way, or a
> class heirarchy, but for general purpose thinking... ?
> -Corinna
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Absolute power corrupts absolutely, but model train sets do a pretty
good job as well

-- 2/28/05, in a odd dream

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