Pattern Languages for CMC Design
Dixon, D. (2009) Pattern Languages for CMC Design. In: Whitworth, B. and De Moor, A., eds. (2009) Handbook of Research on Socio-Technical Design and Social Networking Systems. IGI, pp. 402-415.
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Three decades ago the concept of pattern languages were introduced in the field of architecture and have since become widely used in object-oriented programming and HCI. However their use in computing is divergent from Alexander’s original goals on two main points. Firstly, they were largely intended to describe the spaces formed by or for human activities and events. Secondly, they were intended as a way for professionals and lay people to communicate whilst designing buildings. Both these principles, a full appreciation of a wider human angle and the participative design approach, align themselves with the sociotechnical tradition and the design of social software. A pattern language created within a sociotechnical framework is therefore an ideal technique to help us design the next generation computer-mediated communication applications in partnership with end users.
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