[unrev-II] Re: Can IBIS be useful for individual/asynchronous collaboration?

From: Simon Buckingham Shum (sbs@acm.org)
Date: Thu Nov 08 2001 - 03:46:27 PST

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    Like to pick up on 2 issues in this thread:

    On how much translation effort to load on the human, and whether this
    is abrogating responsibility to improve user interfaces:

    There's only so much a good user interface can do. I want to flag the
    issue of *representational literacy*. Radical new knowledge tools
    will require new literacies. But we also want to get them adopted.
    One response to this is to argue that they must therefore not be too
    radical a break from what we know. Another is to help people see the
    potential of the new tools as demonstrated by fluent 'masters', so
    that they then want to do it themselves. The best is of course a
    hybrid. An example of this is to assist import/export to dialogue
    mapping from/to other everyday tools that are familiar.

    On making Pros and Cons nodes or links:

    There's a trade-off (at least here) between learnability and
    representational elegance. This could also be thought of as capture
    overheads (greater representational rigour raises cognitive/capture
    overheads) vs. re-use overheads (greater representational rigour
    reduces cognitive/reuse overheads). It's all a question of which one
    to prioritise.

    So, I DO agree with Al that new initiates tend to find it easier to
    think "This is a Pro, so I'll make a Pro node", rather than "...so
    I'll make an Argument node with a Pro link" (may also mean more mouse
    clicks). But, this then doesn't encourage subsequent, cumulative
    discussion where others may not see that node as a Pro. If we're in
    an asynchronous context, the demands on rapid capture are less

    On the re-use front, it's an unanswered empirical question whether
    people *reading* such maps (either during the meeting or after) are
    helped by having red and green -/+ nodes, as opposed to red+green
    links to neutral Argument nodes. I suspect not much difference.
    Reusability will depend more on common ground between the reader and
    the authors.

    This comes back to fluency/literacy:

    With experience/training, fluency leads to better representations.
    Al's argument is very pragmatic: let's help people create and read
    these maps. I absolutely favour this approach since if nothing's
    captured, there won't be any reuse/computation problems to worry

    That sets the longer term challenge of boosting the computational
    support that can be provided off the back of such maps, and whether
    we can improve representational elegance without raising the capture
    overheads. This may simply require practice/training to increase


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