06 December 2007

Affinity mapping

Affinity mapping, originally uploaded by dgray_xplane.

Affinity mapping is a way to sort large amounts of data into logical groups. Existing items and/or new items identified by individuals are written on sticky notes which are sorted into categories as a workshop activity. It's a great way to get the power of a group working for you to organize information and ideas.

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Anonymous said...


This seems similar to what we would call a sorting exercise. However, besides the fact that "affinity mapping" sounds more glamorous, it looks like a group activity, whereas we will usually conduct sorting exercises with individuals using index cards. Regardless, I will attest that it's quite informative to see what groups people create and what they call those groups. I tend to use the exercise on Web projects when we have too many navigation options. That way, we're able to narrow down dozens of choices into just a few aptly named navigation buttons.

Unknown said...

Yes, we usually do it as a group activity. Sometimes we also call it a "bottom up tree" because the nature of the activity is usually starting with "leaves" then working up to "branches" till we find the "root" concept that applies to everything.

Menelaos Gkikas said...

Clustering and mapping is also important. Junctions, decision making and flow diagrams, Boole algebra can also be combined!! Happy holidays.