Cure a Blank Page with Mind Mapping

Not all work that a designer takes on are so easy to come up with new ideas that are not only creative but also relevant and original, and not all ideas are easily accepted by a client even with a very persuasive sales talk. And when you have the great idea it’s still not going to stop some clients pouring the gravy on.

Generating ideas for new and original print work and web sites can therefore be a real challenge but there are tools/ideas out there that can help you to generate more ideas than you need and one of them comes in the form of mind mapping.

What’s Mind Mapping?

Mind mapping basically works on the through the structuring of ideas and concepts through paths leading off a parent or core idea, sounds a bit vague, take a look at the example of a good wine, ok, it would also work with a bad wine, where the core idea (starting point) of a mind map would obviously be the wine, this in turn would return the ingredients of the wine, and each ingredient would returns its own children, e.g. grape vine, seed, juice and so on so, eventually ending up with a mind map, which in it’s simplest form without colour or images, could be going in a similar direction to this:

… you get the gist.

What’s so great

The great thing about mind mapping is that your mind leads you into ideas that you may not automatically have thought about, like leaf structure or combinations that are not immediately apparent, e.g. how the color of the grape changes at certain times of the day or how the sun hits on a particular spot, and this in turn, can lead to that new idea that you were searching for, helping you to create an original idea that fits to the standard trusted look and feel that your clients going to love with an original, creative flair.

The Client Belongs to your Brain Storming Team

Including your client at the ideas stage is an absolute must. Involving them at the ideas stage gives them a sense that they are taking part in creation process from the very beginning so that it also becomes their baby and reduces the chance that they’re going to mess things up later. You will also have the advantage of inside ideas that the client may have in the form of input that you would never think of, after all it’s his business and he knows it inside out. This also saves you and the client time because you’re not going to be working on an idea that they just not going to like or that they don’t feel they have a relationship to.

Tools you can use for Mind Mapping

There are many ways to get your mind mapping started; old fashioned paper and graphic pens, white board, pin board and labels, post-it sized paper and a big table, if you like to go green then snip up old envelopes and paper scraps into your own labels, or you could use one of the many mind mapping software programs out there.

These range from open source, cross platform solutions for desktop. e.g. Freemind or, if you’re into online editing, the php web based solution Wikkawiki, or proprietary software e.g. desktop applications such as Mindjets MindMap or NovaMind, or online collaboration solutions such as Mind42, or the brand new WebspirationPRO.

Once you’ve decided which mind mapping solution is best for you the only thing left to do is to learn it then go out, expand on it, and watch those ideas start to flow.


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