Developer Community Outreach: Nuancing that Usability Design Pattern Message

When user experience (UX) professionals talk about design patterns, it's wise to nuance the term, and qualify it. These patterns are proven, usability best practices and solutions for common problems. When developers talk about design patterns, they're referring to software development architecture or coding patterns based on frameworks or languages, and implemented through their development environment.

I was reminded of this during our initial soft launch of the Oracle Fusion Applications design patterns, and in my own research on Stackoverflow and in the Irish software development community.

In the Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) world, we have to contend with lots of patterns, starting with the underlying Model View Controller (or MVC) pattern, Java Enterprise Edition patterns for ADF Business Components, and lots of others that ADF developers use daily to make life easier. Check the ADF Enterprise Methodology Group (ADF EMG) Google Group forum and Oracle ADF Code Corner for some great insights into what code design patterns are used, how, and why.

And then, of course, we have that antipattern business to contend with, too!

So, dev outreach folks, know your audience and adopt terminology and messaging appropriately upfront. Otherwise, be prepared to spend some time in the translation business or answering questions about code.

Personally, I think usability best practices and guidelines for developers works well. However, when we do refer to design patterns in the UX sense, then we need to make sure the context is clear and qualify the term.

Comments:

"Functional Patterns" could be more recognizable. Better for SEO et cetera, et cetera.

Posted by James Wharton on August 02, 2012 at 08:01 AM IST #

That's a great point. "Bex", one of our Fusion UX Advocates also pointed this out on the ADF EMG Google Group saying Fusion Functional Patterns and Fusion Technical Patters would be a useful distinction (https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/adf-methodology/hNg5Yl5PfzY).

ADF already uses the term: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/developer-tools/adf/index-100668.html

Posted by Ultan (Apps-UX) on August 02, 2012 at 08:10 AM IST #

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Oracle applications user experience (UX) assistance. UX and development outreach of all sorts to the apps community, helping to design and deliver usable apps.

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Ultan Ó Broin. Director, Global Applications User Experience, Oracle Corporation. On Twitter: @ultan

See my other Oracle blog about product globalization too: Not Lost in Translation

Interests: User experience (UX), user centered design, design patterns, tailoring, BYOD, dev relations, language quality, mobile apps, Oracle FMW and ADF, and a lot more.

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