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Potential DoView users sometimes ask us about the difference between DoView and generic mindmapping software. They want to know why they should bother buying DoView.

First up, DoView is an agile, specialized outcomes and strategy tool. It's not in any way trying to be generic mindmapping software. It is also not generic drawing software (check out our detailed comparison between DoView and generic drawing software).

If you are heavily into mindmapping, you should certainly get one of the excellent mindmapping products that are out there. DoView will complement this by providing you with a specialized tool for particular aspects of your work if you are involved in strategy and outcomes work with groups.

DoView is for professionals (either in-house or external consultants) who want to have super-fast and streamlined strategic discussions with groups about their strategy and outcomes. It has been designed to foster a new ‘visual' approach to planning and thinking about outcomes and their measurement.

With DoView software, it's really a case of ‘less is more’. DoView only includes the essential features needed to do the work it’s designed for. It includes a couple of somewhat unique features that make outcomes and strategy work easier. DoView has deliberately avoided going down the path of ‘bloatware’. Bloatware is where the user becomes distracted by all of the decisions they need to make about which options to select.  

From the start, the design of DoView had input from experienced strategy and outcomes facilitators with an eye to the psychology of real-world strategy and outcomes discussions. You’ll notice that the interface has been designed to be simple and based around large icons. The idea is that the group you’re working with should not feel that you’re ‘playing with your software in front of them’. This is a subtle, but very important point. You want them to feel that you’re helping them build a clear visual model of what it is that they're trying to do with their strategy and outcomes.   

It is essential that the audience 'own" the model that they’re producing and the visual look of the modeling software that you use is essential in this.

DoView has been optimized (when you use the default 1 x 1 compact pages) to work across different media, for instance when: data projected at the standard 1024X768 resolution; in the software version; in the HTML version (compact enough for a tablet screen); and in any letter-sized printed versions of your model.

This enables the model to be ported across formats and used in all organizational discussion. It’s use in this compact mode is encouraged because it gets around the inefficient approach of: ‘you won’t been able to read this diagram I’m Powerpointing’ which often occurs in organizational presentations. If people can’t read and amend the strategy model they’re meant to be working from, then the model is not working as a centralized representation of the organization’s strategy and outcomes.

DoView has been specifically designed to allow the model to be used in multiple organizational meetings in different formats across different media modes.

The super-quick drill-down to new page function within DoView makes it easy to build large modular models on-the-fly when working with strategy groups. 

DoView is optimized to ensure that a presenter can quickly create elegant and functional models (e.g. the default projector-optimised pastel colors can all be differentiated on a data projector while still allowing for black text to be seen against the pastel background when printed). The default options have deliberately been constrained in order to make it easier to work with the software in real-time in front of strategy meetings. If you’re using it in real-time as a facilitator, you don’t have to think the actual use of the software itself, you can just concentrate on running the strategy meeting.

The unique ‘DoView link’ visualizes a link between boxes separately from representing this link as a drawn line. This solves the major problem faced by other types of software of only being able to represent links using a drawn line. This limitation leads directly to users having to create large single-page models which cannot be adequately visualized on a data projector screen, tablet screens, or when printed on normal-sized paper. 

With DoView you are also able to turn link lines on and off without deleting the underlying DoView Link. Hence link information is not lost just because you want to have an uncluttered presentation (i.e. line links not showing) when involved in a discussion with a strategy group. 

DoView's innovative count links function allows rapid visualization of how many boxes are linked to any other box. This allows line-of-sight analysis of whether projects are focused on priorities when using DoView for visual organizational alignment within visual strategic planning.

The cloning feature allows the same object to appear in multiple places within a model. This allows quick updating in one place which then takes effect right across the model. More subtly, it is also essential if one is to have modular, but integrated, diagrams built up of many sub-pages.

Cloning plus cross-page linking which allows links to be quickly made with the DoView Link across pages means that large modular models can be built without losing one’s ability to make links between boxes located on different pages. This is consistent with the DoView philosophy of helping the user create ‘simple but not simplistic’ models.

So in summary, DoView is not attempting to be generic mindmapping or drawing software. It’s lean, innovative, specialized software appreciated by the in-house or external professionals in 40 + countries running strategic and outcomes conversations in real-time in front of groups. 

It does this while also providing the most efficient way of quickly modeling complex relationships between boxes on different pages within a single visual model. This modeling is used for a range of purposes (e.g. line-of-sight alignment, showing that one is focused on outcomes for accreditation and quality assurance purposes, curriculum mapping, etc.).

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