Patterns and Pattern Sites in HCI: An Analysis

Christine E. Wania, The College at Brockport State University of New York


Interest in patterns and pattern languages in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) continues. However, many of the questions and concerns in this area have yet to be addressed. These questions and concerns include lack of empirical evidence to support the claimed benefits, lack of a standard pattern format, and lack of an organizing principle. This paper describes an analysis of the design of pattern websites and their respective patterns. A systematic online search using multiple search engines and multiple search phrases was conducted in attempt to further understand the current state of affairs, including pattern format and organizing principles. The results suggest that the community has yet to adopt a standard pattern format. Although, the essence of Alexander’s patterns was found in most patterns. The findings highlight the progress that we, as a community, have made in some areas, but remind us that there is work to do in other areas.