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UX Patterns (and not UI Architecture Patterns)

Just when you think that you finally have an accurate label to describe something, you discover the true ambiguity of the term.

What is UX?

UX means User Experience. You might say that it is the ergonomics of an user interface, or possibly the level of intuitiveness. More plainly, good UX means that the users of the software are able to quickly understand how to use and don’t have to go out of their way to make things happen. This blurs a little bit into the concept Usability. But UX just sounds so much sexier, and there is this aspect of producing chemistry between the user and software that transcends mere Usability.

Why do I bring this up? Well, I’ve just started talking about UI Architecture patterns and I wanted to make sure the concepts were distinct. When I talk about UI architecture patterns I’m talking about the structure of the code that underlies a user interface. It’s all non-visual stuff. On the other hand, UX patterns deal with the rendered view that is presented to the user.

QuinceInfragistics just recently published a very cool (and Silverlight-based) catalog of UX Patterns called Quince.

You might be inclined to say, “Well, that’s nice for designers, but…”. Please don’t, this is really a useful for tool for anyone building user interfaces, even if those interfaces are basic and handed off to a design team. In the very least, this will help establish a common vocabulary for talking about user interfaces.

More Resources

If you are interested in know more about UX and usability, here’s a couple of resources:

Jakob Nielsen – very well know and full of good info, but he is definitely plain usability with none of the sizzle.

Don’t Make Me Think – one of the first books I read on the subject. (I probably need to reread it, it’s been so long…)

Posted 02-05-2009 2:19 PM by Christopher Bennage
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