Use Creative Tools for Effective Website Redesigns

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Redesigning your website to take advantage of new opportunities and solve problems can be challenging. Different political groups jockey for position and new ideas get shouted down or lost due to employee popularity or ranking. A technique that can strip away these “human” factors can make a big difference when planning and strategizing.

In the late 60’s Tony Buzan developed a technique he called “Mind Mapping” to make use of the latest in brain research. His goal was to help people use all their cortical skills, i.e. word, image, number, etc. to learn and problem solve. This technique has grown and developed over the years as brain research becomes more sophisticated.

This method works very well in corporate setting where the audience has diverse skills. Rather than focus on skills, you focus on ideas. People feel they are on firm ground and are more likely to share ideas and look for solutions. This is exactly the kind of atmosphere you want to create when groups congregate to solve business problems.

In my work with Internet clients, I have adapted this method to take advantage of different creative skill sets among staff members. The marketing group has their way of looking at things, the developers theirs, and management, still another. When mind maps are applied to internet planning (or any business plan) it removes the barriers and helps each group apply its best creative knowledge.

There are four main advantages to using a mind map in an internet setting. The first is that it’s non-linear. This makes all ideas important and eliminates ideas chosen by employee rankings. When there are open spaces on the map branches, the brain wants closure. Everyone wants them to be filled in. This promotes teamwork.

The second is it provides a look at the “big picture” and the details at the same time. This helps managers focus on their concerns while those tasked with the details can focus on their part of the puzzle and everyone can see the whole.

The third is it highlights omissions. When you follow the same process and look at the same lists you forget or “don’t see” what’s missing. Looking at the material in a new way helps you analyze it.

The fourth is it stimulates everyone’s creativity by using pictures and colors, lines of different widths and spaces. Programmers use their special skills and designers and managers use their unique skills.

When you redesign your website, your main goal should be to make it easier for your customers to find information and buy products. This tools makes it easier to achieve success.

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Stephanie Diamond

Starting in 1994 as a Marketing Director at AOL she had a front row seat to learn how people buy online. During that time AOL went from less than 1 million subscribers to 36 million. Author of 8+ best selling books.

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