User Experience Patterns

Recently, I been diving into the world of User Experience (UX) patterns.  Being aware of the use of patterns in software development, it is invigorating to see this discipline being adopted in the interaction design (IxD) space.  What is an interaction design pattern?  I like this description from the Interaction Design Association (IxDA):

Patterns represent optimal solutions to common interaction design problems within specific contexts. They help designers align with standards, they speed design, and they often extend or transform into new contexts or applications.

The catalyst for this discovery came from a MIX09 video entitled, Advance Your Design with UX Design Patterns presented by Ambrose Little (@ambroselittle) [via Tom Pierce of EnterpriseBlend, @tlpierce]

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Based on Ambrose's presentation, I have compiled a list of resources that I am excited to use as resources moving forward.

This structure is very much needed in user experience. UX is saturated with experienced creative types that would describe such structure as constraining.  However, those new to the space would benefit from the documentation of these patterns, as they enable decisions about appropriate interfaces for specific user requirements. The patterns are not intended to constrain a designer, but to present appropriate interfaces for the right situation. And since the pattern libraries are usually open to contributions, innovative types can continue to be creative, but they can now share their new, cutting-edge ideas with to the larger community.  As a result, UX patterns become a great peanut-butter-and-chocolate combination of structure and creativity.


Tom Pierce at: 10:15 AM said...

Very cool round-up. I think one of the exciting things about these catalogs is that it gives me a place to go to find best practices for user interaction. Since I have very little talent in that area, these are very helpful to get me started - or at least know I need help from experts like you!

Aaron Hursman at: 10:56 AM said...

Thanks, Tom! I totally agree about this being a place to go for IxD best practices. I believe the collective UX has suffered to date from the lack of structure around our discipline due to the fear of potential constraints. I don't think that is the intention with patterns. If anything, they are enablers!

Post a Comment

Aaron Hursman
Aaron Hursman is a passionate user-advocate who is lucky enough to do what he loves for a living. As a user experience architect, he applies user-centered design principles and techniques including user research, persona development, information architecture, storyboards, wireframes, prototyping, visual design, graphic design, interaction design, and usability. Aaron has a background in web development, enterprise applications, and the social web. At nGame, he is applying his craft to design and build the next generation of enterprise software. Aaron is available as a speaker and author upon request.
Disclaimer: The information in this website is provided "as is" with no warranties, and confers no rights. This website does not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my employer. It is solely my own personal opinion. Inappropriate comments will be deleted at the authors discretion. All instructions and code samples (if any, ever) are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either express or implied.