Mindmaps and Qlik UI Design

Sense Mindmap A Qlik Sense app visualised using a mindmap, before any development has begun.
Using Mindmaps to Visually Design Qlik Apps

Mindmapping is a useful analysis and documentation methodolgy that allows to you lay out notes and ideas in a more visual format than just writing them down. With mindmapping you create a central idea or topic and then have sub-topics branching out from the central topic, and further sub-topics attached to those sub-topics.

Mindmapping as a tool has been around for a while and is popular with students as well as business analysts or anyone who needs to make notes on a partiular subject. I use mindmapping as an effective way of taking notes in requirements gathering sessions. Mindmaps can be drawn on paper or you can use software; I use X-Mind, which is free, but there are other programs that can be installed, as well as cloud based mindmapping tools, such as Coggle. There is plenty of reference material on mindmapping available online. Start here: http://www.mindmapping.com/

Apart from note taking though, mindmapping is very useful as a user interface design tool for QlikView and Qlik Sense apps. A Qlik app usually has one central theme, e.g., Sales, Finance, Management Dashboard, etc. It consists of a number of sheets and on each of those sheets is a number of objects. A mindmap is an excellent way of visualising the contents of the app. You can use a mindmap before beginning to build the app to lay out your sheets according to the DAR principle - Dashboard, Analytics, Reports - and to make sure that all user requirements are covered. A mindmap that comes out of an application design workshop can be incorporated into the design spec and can be used during the build phase to ensure that all requirements are covered. This is particularly useful if the person building the app is not the same person who took the requirements and designed the app. Mindmaps can form part of the documentation and should be kept updated as requirements are added during testing and user workshops.

You'll find mindmapping can be a really useful addition to your Qlik app design toolbox and as an added bonus a mindmap never fails to impress in meetings... ;-)

Posted by Colin Hancox

Senior QlikView Consultant. Currently providing Business Intelligence solutions for various large companies in the retail and manufacturing sectors, using QlikView on Oracle and Microsoft AX databases.