Creating a schematic overview of all the topics related to your solution idea

Practical Information

What is this tool?

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.

Why do we use it?

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.

Design phase:

Setting the scene, Research, Ideation


Pen and paper, Print, Online tool, Post its


30 minutes - 1 hour

Worksheet Print
Worksheet Digital
Worksheet French
Worksheet Arabic
Worksheet without Text
Worksheet URL

A step-by-step guide

1. 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.)

2. 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

3. 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. 

4. 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

5. 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. 

How other organisations used this tool

How to use the outcomes of the tool?

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.

Related tools

Pattern finding
Combine the findings you have gathered into usable insights
Before you start, use the pattern finding tool to identify the main topics for your mind map.
Lottery game
Generating many creative and fresh ideas
Use ideas that came up during the Mindmap and combine them in unexpected ways during the Lottery Game to come up with new ideas
User journey
Making your idea come to live by describing it from a users perspective
If this exercise has generated enough concrete ideas, use the user journey to describe how our user is going to interact with these ideas

Thoughts? Share with us!

We would like to know how you experience how you used our tools.
Share with us your experiences and filled out worksheets.

Email us at: toolkit@butterflyworks.org

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