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  1. Acronym of I'll know it when I see it.
    • 1989 Software risk management page 125
      information overload situations; user differences of opinion on preferred displays or interaction styles; or a number of users saying such things as, "I can't really tell you what I need, but I'll know it when I see it (IKIWISI)."
    • 1990 Strategies for software engineering: the management of risk and quality
      Another sort of prototype helps in the situation where you are not even sure what behaviour you want - the ikiwisi' syndrome (I'll know it when I see it). This is the sort of prototype that is built for evaluating user interfaces. Prototyping is therefore experimentation designed to yield information for the development process
    • 1991 Managing Quality Dynamics page 26
      customers or users do not always know what they want or what they need. Before the arrival of the microcomputer, for example, very few customers would have been capable of expressing their need for a microcomputer. The needs and segments covered only appear clearly once the product or service is on the market - this is known as the 'ikiwisi' syndrome (I'll know it when I see it). But what are the needs of the customer?
    • 1991 Towards a Theory of Cognition and Computing page 175
      Users also often find it difficult to define what they want in abstract or verbal terms independent of some working system : I'll know it when I see it' (IKIWISI). A prototype provides a means for users to say more precisely what they do or do not want. The general idea, then, is to construct a series of prototypes, to allow prospective users to examine each one, and say what changes they want in the next one.
    • 1995 Electronic Document Management Systems: A Portable Consultant
      An acronym has been coined in this industry to express the "I'll know it when I see it" phenomena: IKIWISI.
    • 1997 Design, Specification and Verification of Interactive Systems ’97: Proceedings of the Eurographics Workshop in Granada, Spain, June 4–6, 1997 (2012 reprint)
      One of the fundamental difficulties of creating computer systems is the IKIWISI principle. I find it hard to envisage what it is I want, but I am sure that I'll know it when I see it. This principle describes the behaviour of users, who find it far easier to assess a working model than to review a technical document

Usage notes[edit]

  • Used in technical fields, often seen as indecisiveness.

See also[edit]