"LAYOUT ENHANCEMENTS - efficiency, shape, behavior"

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  • Updated 6 years ago
"
1. SPACE EFFICIENCY:
MM uses an inflexible layout instead to search for the best possible arrangement and exploit the free space between the topics. Resulting maps are larger than necessary. This leads to three disadvantages:

a) The quicker our maps grow, the sooner we need to zoom out, which also leads to smaller topics and fonts, hence it affects the readability.
b) The larger a map, the more problematic is printing.
c) Too many and large free spaces between the topics disperse the visualized information and affects the overview quality.

2. ELLIPTICAL LAYOUT - UNIFORMLY DISTRIBUTED BRANCHES instead of the current biased left-right style.

Our thoughts aren't either right or left! The current layout in a butterfly manner is not neutral. It arbitrarily emphasizes some topics at the expense of other. More than that, this is one part of the space-inefficient behavior because if doesn't use enough the free place on the top and bottom.

3. MAP BEHAVIOR WHILE LAYOUTING

Take a look at http://www.visualthesaurus.com/ and just play a little with their online maps. It would be great when MM would can use a similar dynamic and automated kind of arrangement. The organic movement of visual thesaurus is very inspiring.

As soon as we change anything in the map, the map would automatically search for the most space-efficient layout. It wouldn't ""brutally"" jump to new positions, but move in a smooth organic way to the new places. The software will probably not be able to permanently find the really best layout. So we would sometimes help and drag a branch to an other place. MM would instantly try to make the best of this new situation and smoothly adapt to the new environment. The smooth organic movement creates a little the impression of a living map, which would additionally increase our attention.
"
(from mentalwaves)
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Mindjet

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Posted 7 years ago

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Mindjet

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"A further layout enhancement would be a kind of quick correction. When we currently create/customize map designs, we have there the possibility to adjust distances like parent-child and child-child. I suggest a new kind of customization, which could be applied directly while working and not in a special design view. The idea:

1. We would hold down the ALT key and drag a child topic to the left or right to increase/decrease the parent-child distance for all topics within the map.

2. We would hold down ALT key and drag a child topic to the top/bottom, to increase/decrease the child-child distance.

In both cases MM would apply the changed distances to the whole map. We would have the option to apply this even on the original template, if we like. If not, the changes would only affect the current map.

This kind of live changes would make us more flexible. For things like that we currently only can open the special template design view, which is not the best way in the middle of the daily work." [from mentalwaves]
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Mindjet

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"To put it roughly, thee are two classes of map usage:

1. As well organized and aligned diagrams
2. As free constructs with less need for exact structures

As I suggested to think about Visual Thesaurus, I was thinking about two diagramming modi: the current one for the more exact diagramming and a dynamic, free one for the more brainstorming like work.

Living (dynamic) maps are more exciting, more stimulating especially in cases we need free, brainstorming like thinking.

" [from mentalwaves]
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Mindjet

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I support these arguments. I am currently using the trial mode of MM and I like many of the features this software has however I have to say that it fell short on economizing space and try to compact the information. I currently use iMM from Buzan co. and Novamind 5 which both also have great features too and I use them as complement depending of the type of work or research I need to do. They both give more freedom while chosing where you want to put a subject within the map and also great editing and designing features. I am seriuosly considering MM to join my family of mind maps tools however the high price and these limitations are making me consider if this is a right decision to invest $400. [from Erick Montero]
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hotmatrixx

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Although this is the first product of it's king that I have tried, I do largely like it, and it's MS Office intergration.

It does feel a bit too "corporate sometimes" - it does still mis some of that "freedom" the others have already so well pointed out.
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emonterog

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excellent point I wish mm has more space effiency and can even grow to sides instead of vertical wise. lots of space is waste because the automatic layout doesn't allow to optimize this factor on large maps
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Jeff Harmed

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I agree. See my comments under "Software against hand-drawn"
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Nick Duffill, Champion

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Dynamically self-adjusting maps are not nearly as ergonomic as they first appear - the better use of space comes at a price. There was a mapping product available some time ago that used a dynamic hyperbolic tree layout. I tried it for real work for a while. Although it was very attractive at first and made static maps seem boring and rigid, you had to stop and read the map every time you wanted to locate something, because it could be in a different position each time. The sense of relative position and the ability to instinctively head in the right direction is something that we don't notice or appreciate until it is taken away. Its disappearance prevents you from learning your way around your map without reading it. The conclusion I came to is that dynamic layout is great for small maps but not large ones, which kind of defeated the purpose.
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Jeff Harmed

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Thank you for your reply. I apologise if I did not express myself very well but I did not suggest "dynamically" self-adjusting maps. I would agree with you that there are practical difficulties with that.

But what I did suggest was a button which adjusted the maps - at the end of the mapping process and therefore not an issue in terms of slowing down editing response times. I adjust maps manually, and that is what I suggest would be better achieved with software. With map adjustments, wmf maps in Powerpoint would show with the maximum font size because space would be best utilised (I tried copying an example - Powerpoint & wmf not accepted & tired GIF - is it attached?)

So with that minor stumbling block out the way, thank you for implicitly confirming that you will be prioritising that idea along with all the other improvements to finally assign hand-drawn maps to the bin

Kind regards
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Nick Duffill, Champion

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Hi Jeff - just for clarity, I was not speaking for Mindjet - just putting in my $0.02 :)
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Jeff Harmed

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Thanks for that. Pity. I'm having to recommend software to an ADHD student and it will have to be MindView 5 Business Mind because of its Project Management features. At one stage MM was ahead of the game but now they seem to have dropped behind

Kind regards