Let’s Mindmap Test Notes

One of the successes I’ve had since embedding into a new Agile development team has been making testing more visible. Visibility of testing is crucial when joining a new team as a tester since many developers have not worked closely with someone that has a test focus, so may not know what it is you’re expected to be doing or know how to engage with you.

Mindmaps are a great way to start showing visibility of testing as they easily show coverage at a distance and they also allow you to visualise your stream of thought whilst testing (which allows you to show people how you explore / test things).

What is a Mindmap?


Mind mapping is a highly effective way of getting information in and out of your brain. Mind mapping is a creative and logical means of note-taking and note-making that literally “maps out” your ideas.

All Mind Maps have some things in common. They have a natural organizational structure that radiates from the center and use lines, symbols, words, color and images according to simple, brain-friendly concepts. Mind mapping converts a long list of monotonous information into a colorful, memorable and highly organized diagram that works in line with your brain’s natural way of doing things.


http://www.mindmapping.com 2018

Below is a sample of a mindmap that I created when exploring the translations of a UI, even from a distance you can see that testing went pretty well but there were some areas where behaviour maybe didn’t act as I’d have expected.

Mind Map Exerpt

From the above example there’s a couple of properties that I’d call out:

  • The notes are pretty terse, usually being a couple of words; this is because I’m noting down my thoughts as I’m exploring the system and my focus is on exploring / testing rather than documenting notes.
  • There’s a colour key; this is to make it easy to see the results of testing at a glance as team members don’t have to read all the words in my notes to know where things looked good or if there were issues.
  • I’m using software to generate the mindmap; XMind is a really awesome tool for this as it has a load of formatting options.

I’ve found mindmaps to be an amazing way to show what I do, show the quality of the system and also as a good tool to use in debriefing at the end of a testing session. When joining a new team, why not bust out some really visual and easy to interpret test notes to add an instant “look what I can do”?

Or sketch note, because that looks amazing!