Here is my thinking on Issue Boards.
Definition of an Issue Board: A explicit shared representational schema that can be used to represent valued issues in a conceptual nature, helps to organize project knowledge, and provides a Design Thinking guided structure to explore/discover potential solution forms.
In essence it is a story type of formalism.
We need to be doing more than card sorts. Card sorts don’t involve interpretation and synthesis. Card sorts are just observation.
Where did this idea for issue boards come from? Early Efforts to Do Web 2.0, ajax, and Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) forced me to go beyond the organizing & structuring of information. I needed a way to ease/invite/involve people in my thinking (cause otherwise I am quite a freak and taking people to the deep end of the pool with me caused them to panic and end up strangling me.) Mostly it was driven by Research in areas such as Design Thinking, Ethnography, and Selling. To sum up it was my attempt to get beyond functional improvements.
The structural ontology of the issue board is made up of three elements.
An issue is the design problem, issue or goal.
The concepts are the something in common between forms. They are not reality, but what we use to groups sets of reality together. The are a particular solution concept, a domain-specific formulation of a solution principal, rather than the explicit physical object itself.
The forms are the specific design artifacts that materializes the solution principle. It must be a representation or actual physical thing.
The Benefits of the Issue Board are numerous:
- Helps us to more fully align the success of the product/service with the needs, desires, and success of the customers.
- Focused on the BIG DEEPR ISSUE to give us PROFOUND INSIGHTS & INTERPRETATIONS
- Help the company to understand what is truly meaningful in relation to complex human issues of culture, lifestyle, culture, and values.
The issue board is most effective when it is used as an idea-generation tool that reinforces the strength of divergent (creative) thinkers.
My Future work on issue boards focuses on the following issues:
- A single issue may be addressed by different concepts, just as a single concept may address different issues.
- identifying and represent individual components of IA knowledge in a design in order that larger bodies of knowledge can be created from individual cases through a process of network construction. A network structure of issues and concepts can function as a lexical basis for storage, search and navigation of knowledge.
- Even more so - the semantic network structure offers the ability to identify linkages between design ideas that were not orginally apparant but can be navigated through the connections between related design ideas.