Affinity Maps


Description:

An affinity map is the result of a brainstorming process whereby participants organize their ideas by grouping them along a set of descriptive pairs. Example:
Boring <--> Interesting, Expensive <--> Low Cost.
Sometimes called affinity diagrams.

Other creative thinking formats:
Mind maps, concept maps, rich picture, process flows, flow charts.

Strengths:

  • Interactive
  • Iterative
  • Helps participants identify common themes
  • Allows participants/designers to plot actual to desired

Uses:

  • Creative thinking
  • Creative problem-solving
  • Brainstorming
  • Design
  • User surveys

Weaknesses:

  • Some occlusion of data occurs when items overlap or obscure each other.
  • Relies on subjective data and not objective observation of behavior.
  • Perceived lack of focus
  • Perceived lack of details

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