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How to Use Mind Maps for UX Design

by Milcah Lukhanyu
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While simple for the customer, good UX design isn’t always easy on the designer. You need a deep understanding of your customer base, along with their browsing habits and customs. However, coming up with good UX design shouldn’t be complicated to create. And we have just the right tool for that – a mind map. In this article, we’ll go through all the benefits of using mind maps for UX design.

What is a Mind Map and How to Create One

A mind map is a diagram that you can use to visually organize information using a hierarchy. It simplifies complex ideas, allowing you to express them in a simple and easy to understand manner. As for how to put together a mind map, nothing easier. Just use these simple elements:

  1. Main idea. A mind map always starts with the main idea. This will be the starting point and will be in the middle of the page.
  2. Branching ideas. From the main idea, other concepts will be branching out. Keep them short and use keywords instead of phrases.
  3. Visual elements. This won’t be too hard for a UX designer. Add as many images, doodles and colors as you want, as they will help your brain understand the concept better and grasp ideas faster.

How to Use a Mind Map for UX Design

Now that we’ve gone through all the steps of creating a mind map, we can move on to how you can efficiently use mind mapping techniques in UX design. Just keep reading to find out!

Why should I use mind mapping in my UX design process?

The answer to that is simple – it allows you to connect all the right dots in the right way. When you’re working on a new UX design project, you will have many points and pieces to connect. Mind mapping is an excellent tool in both UX and web design, as it “forces” one to maintain a more clear and systematic approach. And if your design is easy for you to understand, it will be easy for your users as well.

How do I use mind mapping in UX design?

Before you get started, you should identify your design process. How do you usually start such a project? The more common process is “understand, define, ideate, create and approve”. Of course, this won’t apply to anyone so it’s important to have a good knowledge of the steps you take to achieve your goal. In this case, the goal is great UX design. Once you have this sorted out, you can start making a mind map for your new design.

  1. Understanding the User

During this step, any good designer will put themselves in the shoes of their potential customers and try to identify how they might navigate the design. This is where you should also be aware of their main pain points, what they like and dislike and what they might expect from their user experience. A “buyer persona” type of mind map is the perfect choice here.

  1. Defining the Issues

During this stage, designers will usually start identifying the potential weaknesses in the product, along with its strengths. This is one of the most important steps, as it will save you lots of headaches later. The earlier you discover the problem, the easier it will be to fix it.

  1. Coming Up with Ideas

This part is pretty self-explanatory. This is where your UX mind map should be populated with ideas about the design’s content and the ways in which it will be used. If you’re working with a team, this would be a great time to get them involved, as they can bring fresh new perspectives to the table.

  1. Creating the Design

This step is all about creation and communication. You should always start with the theoretical knowledge you have and from that, add more keywords to your mind map – these should include some user empathy maps, along with any feedback you’ve gathered from the clients or developers.

  1. Validating the Design

This part of your mind map should include everything you’ve gathered so far in terms of both feedback and metrics. Based on this, you’ll find out if your design has been successful or not. The main elements of this part of your mind map should include surveys, A/B testing, data analysis, user feedback or usability tests. Of course, if there are other metrics you use, feel free to add them here.

Our Conclusion

A mind map can prove to be an essential tool when it comes to the success of your UX design. It will allow you to put your thoughts in order, while getting a clear idea about what the customers usually want from their user experience. Think about a mind map as the UX design to your UX design and you’ll see just how effective it is.

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