"The Brain" and "MindManager"

15 Mar 2006 - 11:00pm
8 years ago
7 replies
1413 reads
Cindy Lu
2006

I have been using MindManager in the past few months for a big project and
have found it is very effective and efficient for brainstorming,
listing/organizing UI elements and even creating site maps.

I just downloaded the trial version of "The Brian" and have found it is
interesting, too. It is differently, though.

Does anyone else have experiences in using MindManager and/or The Brain for
the IA or the Interaction Design work? I am interested to hear your
experience.

Thanks!

- Cindy

=============
Cindy Lu, Ph.D., CHFP
HFE Consulting, LLC
"Designing for a Better User Experience"
(732) 246-6883
Web: http://hfec.biz
Blog: http://richux.blogspot.com
==============

Comments

16 Mar 2006 - 4:44am
community at la...
2006

Hi Cindy,

I've been using Mind Manager for about 5 years now, and find it very
useful for doing sitemaps as a way of quickly arranging content that
can be scanned with the eye in one hit, which makes it useful for
pattern analysis. Have also used it as a way of walking through site
structure for content classification with focus groups. I've found it
a useful alternative to card sorting exercises because you can
collaboratively arrange and re-arrange content hierarchies very quickly.

At present, I'm a little hamstrung as I have to use it in Virtual PC
on OSX, which is slower due to emulation than it would be on a
straight PC. I've been considering the Brain, but am well entrenched
in the use of MM and awaiting their Mac release to start using it as
one of my key tools. Omnigraffle have a MindMapping stencil which is
prettier than some of the MM outputs, but much slower to work with.
In most sessions that I've run, speed is of the essence.

I have colleagues who have used it in all sorts of different ways-
running entire consultancies, large project plans, etc. One of the
better tools around IMO, but don't try and use it for wireframes.
It's a good content hierarchy representation tool which is great for
the visually inclined (which is about 60% of the population). There
are other interesting tools that can demonstrate the focus of
attention more clearly (such as inxight startree) but I haven't seen
it catch on as a navigation tool.

Warm regards,

Brian Hill
Managing Director
Laughing Mind Pty Ltd | Humane Systems, Spaces + Interfaces
m: +61 414 430 450
i: http://www.laughingmind.com
Canberra, Australia

>
> Does anyone else have experiences in using MindManager and/or The
> Brain for
> the IA or the Interaction Design work? I am interested to hear your
> experience.
>
> Thanks!
>
> - Cindy
>
> =============
> Cindy Lu, Ph.D., CHFP
> HFE Consulting, LLC
> "Designing for a Better User Experience"
> (732) 246-6883
> Web: http://hfec.biz
> Blog: http://richux.blogspot.com
> ==============

16 Mar 2006 - 1:20pm
Akanowicz Ron
2005

Brian: Have you heard of or used Inspiration for the Mac? If you've used
it, can you comment on it as compared to MM?
Also, how does MM compared to FreeMind, an open source app. I just
installed FM but haven't used it yet.
Thanks,
Ron

16 Mar 2006 - 4:48pm
community at la...
2006

Hi Ron,

I recall taking a look at Inspiration previously, but decided against
it at the time as I needed to confer with colleagues in the
consulting company I was with via MM, and it was more oriented to
school use at the time- it seems to have matured beyond that a
little, but the education market seems to be their main audience.
Have just taken a quick look again, and can see how people could get
some usefulness out of it as an alternative to MM, but the cross
platform considerations are still there. Another alternative is
ConceptDraw as well, which is cross platform, and a bit more $$ than
MM. Haven't looked at FreeMind as I already had the MM licence and
chose to keep using that, as a number of my peers also use it- just
makes it easier if we can update on the original MM rather than
export/import across different tools.

Warm regards,

Brian Hill
Managing Director
Laughing Mind Pty Ltd | Humane Systems, Spaces + Interfaces
m: 0414 430 450
i: http://www.laughingmind.com

On 17/03/2006, at 5:20 AM, Akanowicz Ron-ERA002C wrote:

> Brian: Have you heard of or used Inspiration for the Mac? If you've
> used
> it, can you comment on it as compared to MM?
> Also, how does MM compared to FreeMind, an open source app. I just
> installed FM but haven't used it yet.
> Thanks,
> Ron
>

16 Mar 2006 - 6:21pm
gleija at comca...
2003

I have used Inspiration (http://www.inspiration.com) for the last 10 years. It's the closest thing I've found to using a pencil - my all time favorite tool.
/G
------------------------------

Message: 15
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2006 13:20:10 -0500
From: "Akanowicz Ron-ERA002C" <ERA002C at motorola.com>
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] "The Brain" and "MindManager"
To: <community at laughingmind.com>, "Cindy Lu" <cindylu at hfec.biz>
Cc: discuss at interactiondesigners.com
Message-ID:
<3C66A45F763A4B48866800530923BA0B6B8D3E at ct11exm65.ds.mot.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Brian: Have you heard of or used Inspiration for the Mac? If you've used
it, can you comment on it as compared to MM?
Also, how does MM compared to FreeMind, an open source app. I just
installed FM but haven't used it yet.
Thanks,
Ron

16 Mar 2006 - 6:42pm
community at la...
2006

Hi G,

thanks for the vote for inspiration. This thread got me wondering
what else was out there as an equivalent for OSS/ OSX, and there is
quite a good writeup at http://www.atpm.com/10.08/atpo.shtml

For those interested, don't forget to also include a look at the
tools listed at wikipedia- there's a useful list at http://
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_map

Given I'm also a fan of the pencil, I might take a closer look at
Inspiration.. ;-)

Warm regards,

Brian Hill
Managing Director
Laughing Mind Pty Ltd | Humane Systems, Spaces + Interfaces
m: 0414 430 450
i: http://www.laughingmind.com
Canberra, Australia

On 17/03/2006, at 10:21 AM, gleija at comcast.net wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> I have used Inspiration (http://www.inspiration.com) for the last
> 10 years. It's the closest thing I've found to using a pencil -
> my all time favorite tool.
> /G
> ------------------------------

17 Mar 2006 - 6:15am
Al Selvin
2006

Compendium (www.compendiuminstitute.org) takes another approach to
knowledge mapping tools like the Brain, MindManager, FreeMind, etc. It
is especially useful when you want to map objects that appear in more
than one context, and be able to keep track of all the relationships.
It's more of a pure hypertext tool that front-ends a database, and is
intended to be interwoven with other tools and data. Some have
described it as 'concept mapping on steroids'. We have used it for IA
and design tasks, particularly collaborative modeling, in many
different venues.

Al

17 Mar 2006 - 1:27pm
Lyle Kantrovich
2005

Cindy,

I've been using MM for about 4 years. I love it for notetaking,
crafting agenda, brainstorming, analysing concepts or hierarchies, and
for quickie sitemapping.

What's great is it frees you (and prevents you) from thinking much
about presentation, and focuses you on the content. Visio, on the
other hand leaves you playing with boxes and connectors way to much.
Sometimes I'll move from MM to Visio or another tool, but MM has
become a "must have" app for me.

--
Lyle

--------------------------
Lyle Kantrovich
Blog: Croc O' Lyle
http://crocolyle.blogspot.com

On 3/15/06, Cindy Lu <cindylu at hfec.biz> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> I have been using MindManager in the past few months for a big project and
> have found it is very effective and efficient for brainstorming,
> listing/organizing UI elements and even creating site maps.
>
> I just downloaded the trial version of "The Brian" and have found it is
> interesting, too. It is differently, though.
>
> Does anyone else have experiences in using MindManager and/or The Brain for
> the IA or the Interaction Design work? I am interested to hear your
> experience.
>
> Thanks!
>
> - Cindy
>
> =============
> Cindy Lu, Ph.D., CHFP
> HFE Consulting, LLC
> "Designing for a Better User Experience"
> (732) 246-6883
> Web: http://hfec.biz
> Blog: http://richux.blogspot.com
> ==============
>
>
> _

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