For the past half a year I did Affinity Mapping as a method for ideation in nearly every creative project I was involved in.
It’s an awesome tool for finding novel ideas, analyzing the problem space and creating a shared understanding of it. Generally, it works like this:
- Gather some data
- Write key findings on post-it notes
- Group and categorize post-it notes
There are some additional guidelines, especially for groups, like a post-it should not contain more than about eight words, a person in the group should lead the process and allocate specific time windows for each step. It appears to be too simple to be effective, but it works great. The biggest problem that I faced with it is that it takes a lot of space and is not very portable. In the picture below you see big Affinity Map we did in a group project.
It was in an office, where we could not leave the Affinity Map to get back to it later, which only left us with pictures of it for future reference. A solution for this is services like Miro, which are great for collaboration and working on Affinity Maps for a longer period. But what I was missing in these tools is the quick and intuitive grouping that one can do with actual post-its and hands. This led me to the idea of creating a VR application where I can do Affinity mapping. I started working on the authentification and authorization for Miro and will hopefully be able to test my first design attempts soon.