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Author Topic: Applying “A Pattern Language” To Online Community Design  (Read 2692 times)


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A Pattern Language is a book about architecture that was written in the 1970s, before the Web as we know it was even conceived. But the book provides hundreds of valuable patterns for community planning and architectural design, many of which can easily be applied to online communities and social networking websites.

And Smashing magazine goes on to demonstrate with 27 examples.

It's not really that surprising for those of us with a long memory: Christopher Alexander's book is one of the classics in any discipline, and a major influence in the development of software patterns
If you don't see how it can fail -
you haven't understood it properly.


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Re: Applying “A Pattern Language” To Online Community Design
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2010, 05:20 PM »
I have to admit that some of the examples didn't really make sense to me, but I did think it was interesting to consider using architectural design as a way to organize an online community.


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Re: Applying “A Pattern Language” To Online Community Design
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2010, 08:17 AM »
 Oooo...good catch JennyB!

I've been a big fan of A Pattern Language since farther back than I'd sometimes like to admit. This is one of those subtle and deep books that can be broadly applied to a number of design issues, be they hardware, software, or wetware in origin.

Amazing how some of the best books about computers aren't about computers.

Another recommendation: Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud.

Although ostensibly about design and presentation strategies in the creation of comic strips and graphic novels, it delves very deeply into how the brain processes text and visual information in order to make connections and assign meanings.

This is probably one of the best books on web design and data presentation out there. (Even if it isn't strictly about either. ;) )


Note: in the fine geek tradition of "eating your own dog food" Scott's book is written in comic book format. Far from being a gimmick, it actually allows the book to serve as example of all the examples in the book.

Very Zen! :Thmbsup: