Whatever project you decide to make using Kumu, there are a number of basic functions that are important to understand. Kumu is a fairly intuitive program. It comes pretty naturally once you get things moving.
The first thing to do, of course, is to make an account on Kumu. This is free and simple. Once you’ve done this, you want to head over to your dashboard. Click on the “New Project” tab in the bottom left to get things going. Name your project and provide a description .
Each option starts you off with a different visual setup that can be useful if you know exactly what it is you want to do. If you want to make the visual decisions yourself, then choose the custom option on the far right. This gives you the most bare bones template to begin with. It will tell you that the custom template is only for advanced users, but don’t be daunted. It’s really not that complicated and gives you much more freedom.
Once your map launches you’ll be met with this screen:
To begin understanding how Kumu works, press the blue “Add Element” tab on the upper left of your map. It will prompt you to label the element, so type in a name. Once you do, a blue dot will pop on the map with the given name underneath. Go head and make two more dots with different names. The points on the map are free to be picked up and maneuvered with. Once you have three points, your map should look like this:
Now there are many different things we can do with these points. For now, lets connect point 1 to point 2, point 2 to 3, and point 3 back to 1, creating a loop. To do this, click on your starting point and then click the add connection tab below the add element tab. Then type in the name of the point you wish to connect to. Do this same process for each one.
Now we have a very basic Kumu map of three connections. Clicking on the line connecting each element allows for a description of each connection. Pictures can be uploaded to each point and can be visible on the map. If you click the settings tab on the toolbar in the upper right, you’ll find a host of options dealing with your map’s visual look. You can change the colors of elements, connection lines, backgrounds, and much more.
Even a very simple map can quickly get complex:
Or completely outrageous: