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Let's talk about writing patterns in general. How do you do it? Why? What makes user experience design patterns different from software design patterns and architectural design patterns (if anything)? and more...

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14 Replies
  • QUOTE (xian @ Jul 17 2008, 08:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    Let's talk about writing patterns in general. How do you do it? Why? What makes user experience design patterns different from software design patterns and architectural design patterns (if anything)? and more...


    I'd say one thing that make HCI/UE patterns so challenging is the referent context must encapsulate both subjective definitions for interaction, as well as many changing objective limitations (browsers, HTTP, javascript, flash, underlying data portability).

    I just read some interesting blog posts relating to pattern languages and knowlege.. heady but interesting.
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  • QUOTE (Maurice @ Jul 17 2008, 01:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    I'd say one thing that make HCI/UE patterns so challenging is the referent context must encapsulate both subjective definitions for interaction, as well as many changing objective limitations (browsers, HTTP, javascript, flash, underlying data portability).


    That's true. Althought we're inspired by the architectural concept of "a timeless way of building" the truth is that we are rushing things a bit when it comes to digital user experience, presuming htat we've identified universal patterns when they may really be interim solutions balancing the shifting forces as best as they can but for this moment only. .... I find that there's always a tension between the sort of Platonic ideal, rigorous, abstract, academic concept of a UI design pattern and the more pragmatic good of providing working designers with tools that make their jobs easier and help them design more effectively.
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  • QUOTE (Maurice @ Jul 17 2008, 01:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    I'd say one thing that make HCI/UE patterns so challenging is the referent context must encapsulate both subjective definitions for interaction, as well as many changing objective limitations (browsers, HTTP, javascript, flash, underlying data portability).


    Not sure I understand this correctly. Are you saying that the pattern itself needs to describe or detail things like browser, HTTP, Javascript, Flash, etc? Or are you saying that what makes UI patterns more difficult is that when designing a UI pattern, we have to think of and accommodate for these items?

    If the latter, I agree. If the former, then I'd disagree. I've designed dozens of pattern libraries for clients w/o detailing out the specifics of HTTP, Javascript, and Flash.
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  • QUOTE (toddwarfel @ Jul 22 2008, 04:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    Not sure I understand this correctly. Are you saying that the pattern itself needs to describe or detail things like browser, HTTP, Javascript, Flash, etc? Or are you saying that what makes UI patterns more difficult is that when designing a UI pattern, we have to think of and accommodate for these items?

    If the latter, I agree. If the former, then I'd disagree. I've designed dozens of pattern libraries for clients w/o detailing out the specifics of HTTP, Javascript, and Flash.


    oh no, patterns should be much more abstract. patterns are built on shared knowledge of a domain. for us-- web designers-- that domain shifts quickly, which poses challenges for a common pattern language. that makes UI patterns at least a bit different. Compare patterns for browsing on the iPhone vs a Nokia web tablet; or accommodating low-bandwidth users and blind users. or the concept of privacy/obscurity changing with the interconnectedness of various search and social web services.

    if architectural patterns were like browser-based HCI patterns, architects might have to deal with the possibility that many people would be 3ft tall, and 10ft tall next year. Or ,all of a sudden escalators becoming cheaper to build than than stairs. ok, maybe that's a bit wacky, but I was just ruminating on Christian's original question.
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  • QUOTE (toddwarfel @ Jul 22 2008, 04:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    Not sure I understand this correctly. Are you saying that the pattern itself needs to describe or detail things like browser, HTTP, Javascript, Flash, etc? Or are you saying that what makes UI patterns more difficult is that when designing a UI pattern, we have to think of and accommodate for these items?

    If the latter, I agree. If the former, then I'd disagree. I've designed dozens of pattern libraries for clients w/o detailing out the specifics of HTTP, Javascript, and Flash.


    Yes, I meant the latter :)
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  • QUOTE
    I hope that the above update shows that pattern language and knowledge are not incommensurate, but that similar knowledge structures are an underlying condition for the _poosibility_ of a common pattern language.
    -- Bertolt Meyer in the blog comment to his own post at http://myowelt.blogspot.com/2008/07/re-gro...wledge-and.html
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  • I'm wrestling with a pattern library I'm currently writing.

    How should the structure or language of a pattern change when your audience is not user experience designers but product managers, visual designers, and web developers?
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  • QUOTE (Austin Govella @ Jul 25 2008, 06:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    I'm wrestling with a pattern library I'm currently writing.How should the structure or language of a pattern change when your audience is not user experience designers but product managers, visual designers, and web developers?
    I'm not sure the structure should change in any one specific way, but the language (if you mean the writing, and not the "pattern language"/structure) really ought to be general to the web and software and even "ordinary" language and not so much based on designer jargon, insider cant, and circular references.
    QUOTE
    Our efforts lately have been to use the patterns to communicate more broadly, in exactly the way you describe, Austin. It's led us toward having a summary element (similar to Welie's "minipattern" or "minipat" structural element) and we've been taking a hard look at the language.
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  • QUOTE (Austin Govella @ Jul 25 2008, 06:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    I'm wrestling with a pattern library I'm currently writing.

    How should the structure or language of a pattern change when your audience is not user experience designers but product managers, visual designers, and web developers?



    We are a group of HCID students (www.hcid.ch) just working on this topic. Well but we take it from a more User Centered Side. Our goal is to build a system, that is supposed to find patterns easily not how to use pattern when they are found already - normally the product managers, business people and others do not know what for patterns are there. So it is about to lead them with a system in the right direction that they find the right patterns - On the right level .. Structure, Skeleton, Surface...
    We think it is important to analyze first the users for getting the patterns accepted in a real world project...
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  • QUOTE (der b @ Sep 13 2008, 01:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    We are a group of HCID students (www.hcid.ch) just working on this topic. Well but we take it from a more User Centered Side. Our goal is to build a system, that is supposed to find patterns easily not how to use pattern when they are found already - normally the product managers, business people and others do not know what for patterns are there. So it is about to lead them with a system in the right direction that they find the right patterns - On the right level .. Structure, Skeleton, Surface...
    We think it is important to analyze first the users for getting the patterns accepted in a real world project...


    I'd love to hear more about this effort. Are you publishing it anywhere or is there a publicly visible site you can point to?
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  • QUOTE (xian @ Sep 22 2008, 03:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    I'd love to hear more about this effort. Are you publishing it anywhere or is there a publicly visible site you can point to?


    It will finished Spring 2009 - I'll will link it as soon as there is something ready
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  • QUOTE (der b @ Oct 31 2008, 06:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    It will finished Spring 2009 - I'll will link it as soon as there is something ready


    Was this project ever published? I am facing similar issues concerning library structure.
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  • Part of our experience of life is the recognition of patterns—patterns in physical objects, patterns in sequences of events, and patterns in our ways of thinking and talking about things. Since the various disciplines in college focus on the study of different aspect of our experience of life, we should also expect to find patterns in every academic field—patterns in the things studied, and thus patterns in the ways we think, talk, read, and write about those things.

    -----------------------
    Mariajones
    Internet Marketing
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  • QUOTE (der b @ Oct 31 2008, 06:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    It will finished Spring 2009 - I'll will link it as soon as there is something ready

    I'm in a HCDE class at the UW in Seattle, and I would also be interested in this link.
    Thanks!
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