Nijssen developed a method for information modelling based upon the communication about a user's domain instead of the domain itself using natural language fact expressions. These crucial elements made NIAM unique compared to ER and other methods in that time upto now.
The way of thinking, or paradigm, behind NIAM is that there is a reality, a Universe of Discourse or Object System. This object system can be seen as an abstract high level function, a set of co-operating and communicating activities, performed by people. Communication in an organisation, with or without the support of an information system, can be realised by using a carefully chosen part of the natural language, the language people speak in ordinary life.
This is why the starting point of NIAM is natural language. NIAM tries to accomplish an improvement in systems design by using this natural language as a basis for analysing information, analysing information systems, analysing the building of information systems and analysing information needs. That way, users get an information system they can easily and naturally exchange information with, because it is modelled from their natural language use in day to day interaction with their environment.