Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Design Patterns: Part 2

Continuation from the last article on design patterns...

"Bill and Martijn both did a great job articulating the differences between general design patterns (principles) and prescriptive design solutions (guidelines). So I won’t chime in with yet another set of definitions. Besides, what’s interesting to me is the context and implications of the origins and usage of both types of patterns.

As an interface design consultant, I’ve spent over ten years researching the business goals and user needs of different domains so I could provide the right design solutions for my clients. From hospital operations to professional educator training to radar traffic monitoring, the only constant across my work has been my medium: Web-based applications. As I put together interface design solutions for these different industries, underlying patterns began to emerge at many levels -all the way from application frameworks down to icon semiotics. It turned out that despite different contexts, users, and businesses, many basic requirements for Web applications were the same.

When I began to recognize this consistency between requirements, I naturally migrated to some degree of consistency in my solutions. After all, what was thought through, tested, and worked in a similar context had a higher likelihood of success than something unproven and unique. Though I never formally defined these solutions as patterns they did become my “design vocabulary” (as defined by Martijn)."   continued ...   (Via LukeW)

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