Communication Mapping

Published on February 16, 2019 by

Themes: , , , , ,


To identify relationships among different types of service users and to understand the different ways in which people communicate


A Communication Map can be used to understand what relationships users have and how they communicate with people around them.


One Hour


Sheet of paper, markers


Individually, In Small Groups

Image courtesy of Helena Sustar, Keeping Connected, Design Council Design Challenge, click here to visit

  1. On a big sheet of paper draw 5 concentric circles starting with the smallest in the middle of the paper and finishing with the largest one nearest the edge of the paper.
  2. Put the ‘subject’ of your study inside the smallest circle then, working outwards, indicate how often communications occur e.g. rarely, monthly, weekly or most days, inside the remaining circles.
  3. Next, insert the names of the people you communicate with, placing them in the relevant area (rarely, monthly, weekly or most days) to show how often you communicate with them. You could use various colours for different types of people (institution, groups) that you communicate with.
  4. Beside each person’s name, indicate how you usually communicate with them. For example, this might be: in person, face-to-face (e.g. Skype/video call), over the telephone, by emailinstant messaging, through social networks, by letter or via text message.
  5. Finally, mark the most important relationship(s) you have and explain why.

Times indicated in the circles could differ and can be different periods during the day (e.g. lunch time) or be for longer periods of time, as suggested above.


System map


Communication Mapping, Keeping Connected Design Challenge, access at

Adams, P. (2007) Communication mapping: Understanding anyone’s social network in 60 minutes, AIGA


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