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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sitemaps & Mind Mapping Tools

As a creative or developer it is essential to map your project or website in a way that is easily understandable, represents the elements involved and the relationships between pages, concepts or thoughts.

In The Pixel Zoo's development process - a communication protocol specification (CPS) in the form of a site map is be drawn up and is essential to ascertain the best way in which to structure the information on your website and the way in which the site can be transformed. This communication protocol specification details the information architecture, the information flow, functionality and data structure to be included on a website from the user’s perspective and can be divided into specific phases for an effective rollout.
This CPS serves a dual purpose:
  • Visually illustrates the structure of the website to the client 
  •  Specifies from a user perspective what the system will do, for use by the design and technical team 
Here are a couple online tools that can assist in your mapping your mind / thought architecture.

bubbl.us - Brainstorming made simple
A simple quick to use mindmapping bubbles. Create an account and you are good to go. Create a brainstorm map, Save your sheet, or Organize them into folders. Exportable as an image or html document.
lucidchart.com and creately.com
Process flow, mindmaps, DB diagrams, swot diagram, organograms and more. Both need the paid version if you want to do team based collaboration, but both offer free trails (5 diagrams).  Creately has many templates to choose from but restricted to template formats, it usesFlash 10 however the interface is a bit unweilding. Lucid Chart is more user friendly with many graphic toolboxes to manipulate. Exportable to pdf image or html / importable from Visio (sign up here today and get 1 month free premium features).
slickplan.com is a free lightweight charting solution focused at very simple  flowcharting  for website navigation.

flowchart.com is free currently while its in beta, but you have to request an invite.

Mindmapping tools are auto layout and auto theming as features, and those are things you dont want if you are trying to design a process flow. For mindmapping,  freemind is open source has lots of features, best price and it seems to be as close to an "industry standard" file format as there currently is.
More Options:

an aggregator of mindmapping tools.



And also these Ipad apps are available: I tried these two Free ones out:

Do you have a favourite mindmapping tool? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Thanks to Alia and Sias for the research help. other interesting reading
 P.S dont forget that you can follow us or like our fan page. 

1 comment:

danielsima said...

Great article I also consider Mind Mapping really important.

I would like to suggest you our tool, Mindomo (mindomo.com). I think you will be surprised about it's ease of use :)

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