Structured Group Discussion system. In the 1980s, Horst Rittel developed the Issue-Based Information System, a hypertext environment for the structured discussion of design issues. This system uses a stringent classification scheme to organize the data. There are three node types (issues, positions, arguments) and nine link types (responds-to, questions, supports, objects-to, specializes, generalizes, refers-to, replaces). These elements are designed to be used in the analysis of "Wicked Problems."

  • simpler list of node types (with no link types): dang, I wish FreeMind has these exact icons!
    • question/issue (icon=question mark)
    • idea/position (icon=light bulb)
    • pro, con (argument) (icons = plus, minus)

Eric Armstrong suggested in 2006 that some tweaks would make IBIS into an excellent D And D tool. Since design discussions involving multiple participants frequently turn out to be "wicked" in nature, a design methodology based on IBIS techniques makes sense. But a good methodology can help a solo designer, as well, helping him or her to clarify and understand the needs of the target audience.

  • includes aside: At one point, Jeff Conklin and his crew created a tool that allowed people to hold an IBIS discussion online. In a private conversation, he relayed to me that it didn't work out all that well, primarily because it turned out to be a crucial to have a facilitator present-- mostly to identify the issue(s) buried in an objection.

Someone tried to do this in wiki: http://twiki.sourceforge.net/cgi-bin/view/Codev/IbisWiki

Summary of gIBIS (graphical IBIS): http://www.weblogkitchen.com/wiki.cgi?GraphicalIbis

Could you get close to this with Mind Mapping?

The descendants of Jeff Conklin's gIBIS are first his work with GDSS's Quest Map now used by Conklin to support Dialogue Mapping, which has been further extended into Compendium, and a Java tool called Mifflin. (Simon Buckingham Shum)

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