This tool helps you to capture and organise your ideas and knowledge, and to place links between ideas, opportunities and potential obstacles in your context. A schematic map of all information that relates to your problem or solution and the context in which you are working. It includes all the topics and subtopics that are linked to the problem you are trying to solve.

Format Method, WorkshopTimeframe < 1hGroup Size AllFacilitation Level LowRequired Materials Pen and paper, Print, Post its


  • Start by writing the problem or design challenge in the center. Then write down all of the topics you have found in the research. Add any additional topics or associations you can think of. Keep in mind that any association is relevant and does not have to directly relate to the starting theme.
  • Once you have a good amount of topics, you can explore each topic by adding subtopics. Here you can freely associate on the word of your topic, without thinking about the starting point. If you are doing this exercise in a bigger group, you can rotate around the sheet and keep building on each others ideas.
  • Discuss with your team the most interesting outcomes and the most unexpected ones. Highlight the most important words and topics or write these insights in 1 or 2 words on a post-it.


This tool allows you to generate a lot of associations and select the ones you find most relevant to be used as building blocks for your solution, or it can show topics and themes that need to be further explored by making them more visual.


Make sure that you have all the findings from your research at hand (this can be in the form of a list of insights and recommendations but it can also be a table of wall with all your findings spread out.); You can use an online drawing/visualisation tool such as Miro or Jamboard to make a mindmap with all of the information collected, you can use the ppt worksheet or you could use a big white sheet of paper.
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