User Experience Engineering

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Mind Mapping on iPad: Enough Room for Thinking?

Do you like mind mapping? I find it a good way to expand thinking about complex problems. Often, looking at the mark i just made results in a visual association, and a new but related idea.

Companies are adapting their iPhone mind mappper apps to iPad. Here is a video demo of one.

I'm not convinced that you can get your mind outside-the-box by working on a little box. There's also a disconnect that occurs, I think of a new node. Then I must switch to gizmo-futzing mode in order to create the node container. Then typing mode. The keyboard grabs up about half the screen. These "not-conceptualizing" steps disrupt the free association and flow of the exercise.

Seems like stylus and tablet would be a more natural and rapid combination. And it's hard to beat markers on vast expanses of craft paper.


I ran this as an app trial for iPhone and found it to be cool, but the maps are too complex and sprawling for the iPhone display. Two positive points: First, It can explore and some thoughts when you are in tight quarters, like a waiting room or airplane seat. Second, it was the only mind mapping app I kept on my iPhone.

MindMeister for iPad They ported it to iPad. Work locally until in-range of wifi, then it auto-syncs with server. First few reviews are mixed.

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