Scott McDonald on the Stuff Blog pointed out a great mind map parody on Flickr and I have to agree – it’s really one messy mind map. I’ll replicate the effect of this mind map in this history of English concept map (you can see the clean concept maps here).
A few months ago, I claimed that many concept maps were unclear to me because the arrows were labeled. In the parody though, the labels are rarely labeled, yet I still read it as one hot mess. The problem here really is bad design. One, there’s very little white space (because the only gap left was filled with a brain or a helmet, depending on the image).
Another is that a large multitude of shapes and color are used but not assigned a meaning. My entry did mention a comment that many maps associate different shapes with different concepts and that it may make sense to use a consistent scheme. Hmmm
Of course, we’ve all seen lots of happy messy mind maps full of a wild mix of shapes, images, colors and photos – like this mystery mind map from the Burnham Grammar School in the U.K. The original newsletter Web Site asks “Can you unravel the mysteries of the mind map? Clue: Year 7 trip…” My answer is alas “not very quickly.”