Exercise 4

Spider Diagrams

For this exercise I had to create a spider diagram for 4 words given :

Seaside, Childhood, Angry and Festival. 

Spider diagrams (Spidergram is also a term used) are an excellent way to spill out word associations for the above words and generate ideas on what people might associate with them.  At first I thought it was a mind map thing, but on further research I found out that they are not.  They are generally used to plan, create or provoke ideas and they can use words, phrases or sentences.  They revolve around a central image/word/phrase and then branch off in single form.   A mind map will have the same thing essentially but it would have a main heading and sub heading and looks more like a range of thoughts and images spilling out from a central point.  Mind maps represent ideas and concepts in a more literal visual way.

Both are used for helping people to figure out associations and are helpful as a study aid for recalling information.  They’re great for generating ideas or jotting down ideas and are commonly used in the classroom as an aid for taking notes.

I found myself trying to stick with the spider diagram formula, but doodling just happened naturally around the words.  It was still a single branch from the central point, but it felt like it was more a mix of spider diagram and mind map!  It felt more natural to do it this way and I definitely couldn’t resist adding colour.

Spider Diagrams, should be more like this:


image sourced from http://www.michaelonmindmapping.com/mind-maps/spidergrams-and-mind-mapping-whats-the-difference/

My attempt at the spider diagram went like this:

spider diagram

However, these are the spider diagrams that I ended up doing:


Seaside was interesting as there was a mix of positive and negative but it was mostly positive.  The most commonly associated word was ‘seagulls’ and one word that surprised me was ‘blue’.

Scan_20160607_3 (2)

Childhood felt easy to do and I found most of the words were simply positive associations from my own childhood.  Common words were ‘games’ and a word that surprised me was ‘grass’.

Scan_20160607_2 (2)

Angry was the most difficult word to create a spider diagram for, from a point of view that most words associated with it are negative ones.  I was trying to go for ‘passionate’ as a link to it but couldn’t move on from there so didn’t include it.  On second thoughts however there are a good range of words that spin off the word ‘passionate’ but that would have led me away from the central word for this exercise.


Festival was interesting as there were a wide range of associations here, ranging again from a positive to negative but mostly positive.  My own experience coloured the negative associations but I was happy to see that some of my friends seemed to share the same words!  The most commonly associated words were ‘tents’ and ‘music’ and the new word was ‘sauce'(not highlighted however in the image).

I can see the difference between the spider diagram and the mind map, and how one can assist from a basic ideas and concept level to the next one.  Both work to generate ideas and are helpful for getting the creativity flowing.  The mind map is more detailed, and even though I have images tied in with my diagrams I see the merit in not having them too.