Can anyone point me in the right direction to some key/seminal
software design models
design or represented models
and any guidance on whether Design Patterns is just a synonym for
Design Models or something different. I have a few academic papers
that cite Christopher Alexander's name.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Here are a few thoughts:
Models are very different than patterns. Cognitively, a pattern is a
recurring phenomenon, widely used and accepted for representation of
common or similar visual/non-visual elements. A model on the other
hand can be a set of rules and guidance that can help in the creation
of a pattern or a group of patterns. Typically, the patterns become
patterns only when they are in use by many users. Otherwise it is
just another piece of code or interface. Also a model can be refined
only when there is a proper flow of information from the usage of the
patterns. So in effect each one feeds the other for mutual symbiotic
growth, but are not the same.
For your query on design model, there are many process steps, but as
a concise one, the only one that I had seen in the past was called
the usability maturity model. The link is here:
Hope this helps.
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Posted from the new ixda.org
Thanks that was concise and very helpful. Your comments and link will
be very useful, especially the mutual symbiotic growth aspect.
Can anyone add to Vijay's suggested further reading, especially any
comments from collegues who have experience of the the usability
On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 10:43 PM, Dave Wood <ixda at bazaar.me.uk> wrote:
> and any guidance on whether Design Patterns is just a synonym for
> Design Models or something different. I have a few academic papers
> that cite Christopher Alexander's name.
Yes, for seminal work, Alexander is the (physical architecture) design
patterns guy. I recommend his *The Timeless Way of Building*. For software
design patterns from a slightly more academic perspective, this is maybe a
good start: http://hillside.net/patterns/about/.
Lots of folks have built on these ideas in the software industry.
I'll let you draw your own conclusions about how they relate to what you
think of as design models.
-Ambrose "Quince" Little ;)
Sorry for the delay in replying but I was away last week (in a cottage
with no WiFi!).
Christopher Alexander was an architect that wrote the book that gives us
the term 'design pattern'. However, his interest was towns and
buildings, so I don't recommend that you rush out and buy it. Not only
is it big and expensive, but ironically, nothing has ever been built
based on his principals (although I am happy to stand corrected on this
if someone knows better).
In software design, there are high-level architectural models such as
client-server, distributed, software as a service and similar.
Lower-down people tend to use patterns such as model-view-controller and
various others you will find in books with the words 'Design Patterns'
in their title. In my view, though, patterns are often over-rated. To
really understand a pattern well, you have to have solved the problem at
least once yourself, so that you understand the issues. Trying to use a
pattern without this understanding is like trying to adapt a recipe
without knowing how to cook. (And believe me, in most real-life
scenarios, patterns have to be adapted to the problem at hand.)
Design for Usability
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: new-bounces at ixda.org [mailto:new-bounces at ixda.org] On Behalf Of
> Dave Wood
> Sent: 15 July 2009 03:44
> To: discuss at ixda.org
> Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Software Design Models and/or Design Patterns
Here's your correction, William - a gallery of real built spaces on
Alexander's principals, from his website: http://www.patternlanguage.com/picturegallery/picturegallery.htm
He was a real working architect with college campuses, numerous public
buildings and private residences to his credit.
Wikipedia says he's built 200 buildings, but being Wikipedia, who
knows if that's accurate. Also, a friend of a friend has an Alexander
house - purportedly, he was difficult to work with.
For what it's worth.
On Jul 22, 2009, at 9:06 AM, William Hudson wrote:
> Christopher Alexander was an architect that wrote the book that
> gives us
> the term 'design pattern'. However, his interest was towns and
> buildings, so I don't recommend that you rush out and buy it. Not only
> is it big and expensive, but ironically, nothing has ever been built
> based on his principals (although I am happy to stand corrected on
> if someone knows better).
email: jayeffvee at mac.com
primary phone: 617-495-0184
On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 9:24 AM, Joan Vermette <jayeffvee at mac.com> wrote:
> Here's your correction, William - a gallery of real built spaces on
> Alexander's principals, from his website:
> He was a real working architect with college campuses, numerous public
> buildings and private residences to his credit.
> Wikipedia says he's built 200 buildings, but being Wikipedia, who knows if
> that's accurate. Also, a friend of a friend has an Alexander house -
> purportedly, he was difficult to work with.
Yes, and even in the related books he describes a real experiment where he
and others applied his principles to build real stuff. If you were to rush
out and buy one of the books, *The Timeless Way* is the one you want--it
focuses on the theory and underpinnings, though *A Pattern Language* can
help you see a lot of concrete examples of what he means.
And certainly in the software field those same essential principles have
been used many times to good effect.
As ways to communicate knowledge to help people build stuff well, patterns
are top notch, maybe even the best, next to lived experience ("the hard
way") and direct tutelage under a master. Even if you are a master, they
can serve as a great enhancement for design language.
Patterns are not overrated, but they have been misunderstood and abused.
And yes, they have to be adapted to the context--that's part of what makes
them a pattern... To say that "you have to have done it" in order to truly
understand it is pretty axiomatic about just about anything. So it doesn't
add value in a discussion of whether or not patterns are good as a
communication tool for good design and as a way to discover a good design
for a particular problem context.
Here's a book:
Here is a library of UI patterns: