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Last updated on January 22, 2019

KJ-Ho is a method invented by the  Japanese ethnologist, Jiro Kawakita, developed as a result of having difficulties in interpreting ethnographic data in Nepal (Scupin, 1997).


 In Japan, by far the most popular creative problem-solving methodology using creative thinking is the KJ Ho method. This method puts unstructured information on a subject matter of interest into order through alternating divergent and convergent thinking steps.

Susumu Kunifuji, 2013

Jiro explained the process in his  paper (Kawakita, 1991), in which the relevant aspect for Liquid View is the visual problem solving method, the basic steps of which are:

• Label Making is the process of writing down everything relevant on index cards.
• Label Grouping is the process of grouping the cards according to relevancy.
• Group Naming to name the groups of cards.
• Spatial Arrangement to arrange the Groups into useful arrangements.
• Relationship Settings to use links to indicate the relationships between the objects/nodes, where the shapes of the links convey the nature of the relationship:
  – Cause and effect: One is a predecessor or a cause of another   ––>
  – Interdependence: Objects are dependent on each other    <––>
  – Correlation: Both objects relate to one another in some way   ––
  – Contradiction: Objects are conflicting to each other   >––<
• Verbal or written explanation. The last step is to explain the chart clearly which other visual thinking systems neglect


Relevance to Liquid View

This system has quite a rigorous process behind it, which is not something which would naturally fit with the Liquid View but the general process is very much what was planned for Liquid View. Giving arrow designs meaning is interesting and I think a way to teach the user what the different designs mean would be to the interaction to make lines from one node to another be through dragging one node onto another and have drop zones reveal options for what links should be made, including the ones above and the ones I have added below, with both textual description and visual.

• Relationship Settings

  – Notes: dotted greyed lines to indicate unsure relationships
  – Labels: greyed lines to indicate labels the author has set to comment on a node. This will likely not show up in the word processing view
  – Comments: On locked documents or in read mode, red lines to indicate that someone other than the author has added text, which is thus referred to as a comment


Furthermore, since Liquid View will be a digital implementation, the labels for the links can be used to filter which nodes and links should be shown and in what ways.

Published inLiquid | ViewLit Review: Mind/Concept/etc. Mapping

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