A fantastic tool for presenting debates – come play

Debate tool Wrangl

Someone should ask Stef Lewandowski to look after children more often. Any children. Every time he does, he seems to invent something. His latest project – made while cradling his baby son – is Wrangl, a tool for “making sense of both sides of the argument”.

This is a problem that has been tackled before – most notably by Debategraph. But Wrangl – at least judging by the example on AV – is better: it looks beautiful, and works wonderfully.

That’s partly because it is aimed at for-and-against debates, rather than the broader issues which Debategraph focuses on.

With such a simple basis, it’s then possible to link each argument to a counter-argument – or add new arguments of your own.

The design of the site makes it easy to pick out each side’s arguments, and follow those through to counter arguments. These are often linked to evidence (for example, Channel 4’s Fact Check) or blog posts which expand on the argument in more detail.

It will be interesting to see how the site is used – and abused – and how it develops in response. At the moment it has a few design issues – such as the ‘Back’ button taking you out of the site, and responding to an argument involving a dropdown menu for arguments across the site – but those small tweaks aside this is a fantastic design solution to an ongoing journalism problem.

To test it out, I’ve started a Wrangl of my own – on NHS reforms. See if you can have a play.

*Full disclosure: Stef was a colleague with me on the crowdsourcing investigative journalism website Help Me Investigate, which he built.

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6 thoughts on “A fantastic tool for presenting debates – come play

  1. Paul Evans

    I’ve tried using Debatepedia for this – only just started and tried to crowdsource a structure of the argument first – here:
    http://sluggerotoole.com/2011/02/21/av-yes-no-or-meh-what-are-we-being-asked/

    Here’s he debate:
    http://debatepedia.idebate.org/en/index.php/Debate:_Should_the_UK_adopt_the_Alternative_Vote_system_in_the_May_2011_referendum%3F

    I think that the final product could be simplified using Wrangl but getting the content right is the tough bit…

    Reply
  2. Anna Haynes

    It doesn’t seem to work with Firefox; but you don’t find this out, until you’ve registered & then entered the first pagefull of info about your debate.
    Bummer.

    Reply

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