mctrexler
I get so tired of people telling me how unfriendly and even scary TB's interface is, and how desperately it needs a 2.0 makeover.  Has anyone at TB or a TB user ever put together written pieces or videos that specifically tackle one or more of the following framings of the challenge: 

1. Here are the 20 things you can do with TB that you can't do with any other software, so get over the poor first impression the interface makes! 

2.  Here are the 10 reasons that TB's interface is the way it is, and why you should focus on the what you can do with TB, rather than what it looks like. 

Being able to make either of these points effectively would be hugely helpful in answering people's "is it worth it?" question when it comes to trying to learn TB.  Anyone know of good answers that already exist?

Mark 
Quote
metta
Are you referring to this concern about TB interface in the context of trying to persuade potential users to:
  • use the web client (webbrain) to navigate your content
  • use the desktop client to navigate privately shared read-only content
  • use the desktop client to navigate privately shared editable content
  • use the desktop client to manage their own information and/or
  • all of the above?
In each case, the pitch one might make about the benefits of TheBrain would be very different in terms of identifying the WIIFM (what's in it for me) for potential users.

However, I haven't seen anyone publicly address the benefits of using TheBrain in the context of the interface question as you have framed it.

In addition (and apart from any interface design issues), I think the fundamental problem with user adoption was articulated quite well in a post you shared quite some time ago about the challenges of data visualization with TheBrain.

IMHO, this is the best explanation I've ever seen about the challenges associated with TheBrain interface -- and, even though I'm a huge and loyal fan of TheBrain for personal and professional use, I think the feedback provided by your data visualization expert has clearly articulated the challenges you and I and other brain users are all facing when we attempt to share brain content with others.
Quote
metta
P.S.
As you may recall, Mark, I did articulate many benefits of using TheBrain in my private neural retraining program, which I shared with you quite some ago.

However, these benefits were specific to an extremely niche audience, and they would, for the most part, not apply to a more generic audience.

Also, to be honest, I don't think my list of benefits was compelling enough to overcome the intimidation factor of TheBrain interface for most of my (limited number) of users.

I am hopeful, though, that switching to TB9|10 web client may eventually help in a few (minor) ways, once it has been upgraded enough for public use -- but, even then, I still think the "keyhole" and "maze" analogies identified in the link above still apply no matter what aesthetic changes might someday be made to TheBrain interface.
Quote
mctrexler
Thanks Metta.  I guess I'm talking about 1-3 in your list above.  The reasons someone who didn't develop a Brain should be willing to spend a few minutes exploring a Brain.  Obviously the topic of the Brain is going to be relevant, but I'm ignoring that for the time being.  How do we get people to get beyond the immediate inclination to move on as per the attached cartoon?  What can we say about the "is it worth it?" question potential users are asking themselves.  As you know I'm focused on climate change, and I have to admit to being amazed by feedback I'll characterize as: "Sure, the Climate Web could save the world, but is there an ultra-simple app for it?  If not, I just don't have the time." This reaction HAS to be overcomeable (new word?), and I'm looking for the right ammunition! 

Mark Too Busy Cartoon.png 
Quote
GaryW
I believe seeing TB's interface as unfriendly and even scary comes from our deep comfort with tree hierarchies to organize knowledge. For centuries roots and branches worked well. However, organizing complexity and moving from a closed system to an open network requires a paradigm shift to rhizome structures. 

Wikipedia is built on a rhizome structure. So is the human brain. You read something new and "file it away" in your head. But it's not stored in a specific location like a computer does. When it arrives the brain naturally begins to form thousands of links with other neurons. Functionally related neurons connect to each other to form neural networks. I think a better word than "filed" might be "absorbed".

I like the TB interface because it emulates what my human brain is doing. Yes, TB does use Parent/Child/Jump relationships which is hierarchical. But over time I find in my TB that some thoughts which began as a Parent has become a Child because of new information arriving sequentially in time. 

Here are a some references I share whenever I'm asked why I like TB.

Make Rhizomes, not Roots
Power of Networks

Brain - old v new view.png 
Gary
We see the world not as it is but as we are.
Quote
metta
Well said and well illustrated, Gary.

Could you tell us a bit more about how you are currently using TheBrain?
> Which version?
> Megabrain and/or multiple brains?
> Personal and/or professional use?

Finally, if you are using TB professionally, I'd be interested in knowing more about your most common/typical use case(s).

Thanks in advance for your time and feedback.
Quote
Cerebrum

mctrexler wrote:
I get so tired of people telling me how unfriendly and even scary TB's interface is, and how desperately it needs a 2.0 makeover.
Quote:
I have to admit to being amazed by feedback I'll characterize as: "Sure, the Climate Web could save the world, but is there an ultra-simple app for it?  If not, I just don't have the time." This reaction HAS to be overcomeable (new word?), and I'm looking for the right ammunition! 
First, how about "surmountable" or "avoidable"?
The "right ammunition"? You don't want to kill someone, do you? 😉 I think that you want a better method of conveying the right information. 

It makes sense that people want an "ultra-simple app". There's only so much complexity and drudgery that people will endure, and there many other resources about climate change and global warming, e.g. Wikipedia Portal.

If some people think that the TB interface is unfriendly and scary, then it is ... to them. TheBrain is great at creating two-way connections between ideas, quickly and easily, but it's not good when trying to navigate a complex topic like climate change, regardless of how many "doorways" there are.

You have a lot of really useful information in the Climate Web but if you feel that you're not being as effective as you had hoped, then perhaps you need to display some of the TB info in a more common format, like a wiki, or as HMTL5 interactive maps.

Hope that helps.

Quote
GaryW
Hi, Metta. I currently using TB MacOS 9.1.19.0 and iOS 9.1.6. I've been closely monitoring forum issues on MacOS 10; no hurry to upgrade for the features gained (eg. Brainbox). Also waiting for a bit more version 10 stabilization.

I have one megabrain more for personal use although it does contain many thoughts to organize the complexity workshops I deliver. I love the ability to connect other thoughts that aren't part of the main delivery but provide useful background and reference material. A good example is linking to Mark's Climate Web. Climate Change is a wicked problem, a complex issue.

 I use Keynote when presenting since I can see my presenter notes without displaying them. However, I frequently will use TB iOS in small meetings to explain ideas and concepts. I make screenshots of my Keynote slides and paste them into a thought note. Much faster to locate a particular slide using TB rather than thumb through a deck of Keynote slides. There are ~100 slides in a deck.

I currently have 3 complexity workshops. TB enables me to easily link slides that are shown in all three so I know exactly what I am repeating (I can write in the Keynote presenter notes "You saw this slide previously in X workshop...) 

I'm contemplating adding a 4th workshop to the complexity series. I'll build the slide sequence in TB using the hidden numbering trick. I can easily see which existing slides are worthwhile to reuse. At the same time I get a sense which slides need to be updated due to the arrival of new information. The TB links tell me what Keynote slide decks require revising.

Cheers,
Gary
We see the world not as it is but as we are.
Quote
yuryg
GaryW wrote:

 I use Keynote when presenting since I can see my presenter notes without displaying them. However, I frequently will use TB iOS in small meetings to explain ideas and concepts. I make screenshots of my Keynote slides and paste them into a thought note. Much faster to locate a particular slide using TB rather than thumb through a deck of Keynote slides. There are ~100 slides in a deck.
Gary


Gary thank you for this... you just gave me a huge idea. I have to be aware of slides in decks produced by many people to pull out relevant slides, you just gave me a great idea on keeping track of the information in all those slide decks... THANK YOU!
Quote
metta
Thank you, Gary, for taking time to share your feedback. Very helpful! :-)
Quote

Newsletter Signup  Newsletter        Visit TheBrain Blog   Blog       Follow us on Twitter   Twitter       Like Us on Facebook   Facebook         Circle Us on Google+  Google         Watch Us on Youtube  YouTube       

TheBrain Mind Map & Mindmapping Software     Download TheBrain Mind Mapping Software