Mind Maps in Software Testing

Mind Maps in Software Testing
June 06 08:13 2019 Print This Article

Note: the article was updated in September 2020.


How to sort out a task that involves multiple steps or sequence of actions? Why you should consider using Mind Maps for such cases, and how is it implemented in software testing? This article will help you to find the truth.

What is Mind Map in Software Testing?

Mind mapping is a method of data structuring with the help of visualization – graphics chart. It usually has tree-like connections with the key element in its center. Such a method of information management does not require some special skills or devices – all you need is a piece of paper and a pencil. The popularity of mind maps in different spheres our life can be explained with the fact that a pressing majority of people perceive visual information better than in any other form.

In software testing, mind maps are usually used to plan testing activities. In other words, all the elements of the testing stages can be successfully illustrated.

Reasons to use mind mapping

Although someone may say that mind maps are obsolete and there are more effective ways of information processing, the following advantages of their application speak in their favor:

  • it is a creative way of structuring the data;
  • attracts and holds the attention of the audience;
  • simple and convenient;
  • collects all the information in one place;
  • easy to change and highlight the necessary details.

qa and software testing

When to make use of mind maps

In software testing, like in any other sphere of activities, conceptual maps are used to manage different kinds of data and activities:

  • to manage test cases (clear traceability is a must);
  • to organize team activities;
  • to trace test coverage;
  • to manage reports;
  • to assign tasks and control their carriage.

Let’s use the example to see how it works and if mind maps can be of use in software testing. Imagine that you are a quality assurance specialist, and you joined the project on testing a video downloading application. The project has been run for some time already, and you need to proceed to your tasks as soon as possible. What will be more convenient for you: to read dozens of reports and specifications to understand the workflow or to look at the mind map (see the example below) which illustrates main elements that require your control and checking?

mind maps in software testing

This mind map holds the key element in its center – software on video downloading, the child nodes are the main processes that need checking. There are also numerous offshoots that stand for the possible ways of verifying the basic elements of the software.

Mind mapping tools: best examples and their description

There are numerous tools for mind map creation and management. They have different interfaces and also vary in functions. We will examine 3 most popular services, their main characteristics, and tips on using.

FreeMind. It is a free mind mapper, which is simple to use, and navigate.

freemind opensource tool

This tool offers numerous options in editing the map, its export or import, autosaving, text and node editing, etc. There were no difficulties with installation or exploring its basic functions.

XMind. This tool is free to download with a trial version to check its main functions. There is an option to choose the layout of the future map and structurize its elements.

xmind opensource tool

MindMeister. It is an online service for building mind maps and their processing. There is no need to download the program, and it can be used via mobile phone. This tool has fewer elements, as compared with the previous ones still, all necessary functions are preserved.

mindmeister opensource tool

Final Word on Mind Maps in QA and Testing

Quality assurance process requires detailed planning and a clear assignment of tasks. It is for managers to decide how to organize the workflow to make it clear and effective. Mind mapping is one of the ways to do this. Testing activities can be structured and managed using this method of visualization, which is by the way accepted in many organizations and is even used for project reporting. The variety of tools allows choosing the most relevant and convenient to apply on a project.

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About Article Author

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Emma Dallas
Emma Dallas

has 3-year experience in blogging, technical writing, and copywriting.

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