I have been working with business users of visualisation software since 1998, and still recall the first time I encountered “mind mapping” software. I knew nothing about proper mind mapping then, and still don’t, but was kept awake the whole night with visions of how the software could one day be used to make business knowledge more shareable and accessible. Although the industry and everyone around me has grown up since then, that excitement still remains.
Since then I have designed and developed dozens of extensions, as both commercial products and custom projects, to help users turn their mind mapping software into solutions for recognised business problems. Commercial titles include the MindManuals. com content products, MiniProject, Gyronix ResultsManager, GyroQ, DecisionMill, Power Markers and Network Builder. I developed the first ever exports from mind mapping software to MS PowerPoint and MS Project in 1999, was the technical editor for Wiley’s “MindManager for Dummies” book, and have authored two editions of the Mindjet MindManager API documentation. I have also helped resellers to establish in the UK, and developed prototypes of other visualisation tools and software for clients.
I have always been more interested in the visual design and structure of information rather than just showing people what the buttons do when pressed, and have worked with many companies to provide training in this relatively unexplored area. Why this remains a relatively unexplored area after fifteen years of growth in the market is something of a mystery. One day, well-formed tree diagrams will be as recognisable and readable as pie charts.