The Pattern Language Network

Taming web2.0 in Higher Education

pattern browsers that make you go ahhh

Posted by yishaym on December 15, 2008

I’ve recently come across these beautiful pattern browsers from Interface Design Team of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam.

Of course, my immediate reaction was “I want one like this”. Its not surprising that an interface design / information visualisation group can come up with a better interface than our humble table. But there’s more to this than aesthetics. These browsers are functional. They are designed to help you find the pattern you need, when you need it. This makes me think about our quest for organising structures. Our primary criterion for choosing a structure should be functional. After all, isn’t that what pattern are all about? Providing a solution to a problem in context? This suggests that there isn’t a single-size map. Each domain of practice will have its set of contexts and problems, and the organisation of patterns for that domain should be driven by them.
Another question that emerges from these examples is: do we need fixed structures at all? Google made its fortune on the claim that where search is powerful enough, you don’t need structure. These patterns browsers allow you to search by specifying your needs. Although they don’t display any fixed structure, you can find the patterns that fits your problem in 3 clicks.

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4 Responses to “pattern browsers that make you go ahhh”

  1. […] Vote pattern browsers that make you go ahhh […]

  2. […] Vote pattern browsers that make you go ahhh […]

  3. John G said

    I don’t seem to be able to get to the pages that you illustrate in the blog. The patterns tab shows as empty with only a preview link available. Do I need to be a user or something?

  4. yishaym said

    Thanks John, their server was down for a short while. It is back.

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