Use visuals to help you thinking. This is a tool that displays and edits IBIS Notation graphs. The Issue-Based Information System (IBIS) Notation was invented by Werner Kunz and Horst Rittel as an argumentation-based approach to support analysis of so-called "wicked" problems. However, IBIS Notation can be used for all problems, whether wicked or not.

This app creates and changes IBIS diagrams in order to map out a dialogue/argumentation or a thought/analysis. It uses a simple structure to help you getting to the bottom of your problems. You will still need to do the thinking, but this tools helps you to see the big picture.

The IBIS Notation is a simple graphical presentation of questions and answers with their respective advantages and disadvantages with the following rules:
* A question can have any number of answers or ideas.
* Any answer/idea can have any number of arguments for each answer, split into the two categories of pros and cons.
The result is a simple graphical representation of a question. You can use it for any kind of question and you have a short exploration of a topic. It is of interest for all those that prefer a graphical representation instead of a textual description.

The concept of the IBIS notation are deliberately kept simple to make it useful for many use cases. The only so-to-say “complication” is that you can attach a question to any other item. As such you can:
* question a question (“Shouldn’t we rather discuss X?” or “What are the assumptions behind this question?”), or you can
* question an answer (“To follow this idea, what would we need to take into consideration?”, “What proof do we have for this statement?”), or you can
* question a pro or con (“What could we do to overcome this disadvantage?”).
Each of these questions would then have it’s own structure with answers/ideas and pros&cons. And of course can these have further questions attached. Nothing restricts how big the IBIS diagram might become. You as the creator decide how many questions you want to include asks and how “deep” you want to go with your diagram in order to analyse the topic at hand.

Use it alone or during a shared screen session.

The inbuilt help file explains IBIS and how to use the application.

Feel free to send the author improvement requests.

What’s New

Version 2.5.0

• This version introduces Templates. Any of your documents can become a template. Once saved as a template you can load use it as a starting point for a new diagram. A template will save all the changes you made to the domains and the current set of nodes. The changed domain and the nodes will be available in the new file after loading the template. Choose Save and Load Templates from File Menu.
• This version includes code to read in files previously exported by Compendium. Import isn't perfect yet but most information is taken over. Compendium diagrams with > 1000 are a bit slow to import and display. This will improve in future versions.
• The Toolbar got simplified in order to provide a simpler interface for IBIS. If it doesn't look simpler then reset the toolbar.

Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
1 Rating

1 Rating


Klaus Kneupner
9.5 MB

macOS 10.13 or later, 64-bit processor



Age Rating


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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