Back to BayCHI

· Design, Patterns, Social Design, User Experience

About two years ago in April I spoke at BayCHI for the first time. Rashmi Sinha, who was co-hosting the monthly program asked me to come speak about the Yahoo! Design Pattern library and the social patterns research project I had recently begun in earnest.

It was my first time airing a lot of these ideas in public and I discovered that I felt rather passionate about some of the key points. It was scary but it was a great experience. I believe the podcast of that evening will be out in a little while (I shared the program with the legendary game designer and writer Amy Jo Kim, so it was an honor as well as a privilege).

In the meantime, the project turned into a book and wiki and I actually succeeded Rashmi as Paul Sas’s partner in booking the monthly program.

On April 13, I’ll be back at PARC in Palo Alto closing the circle and reporting to BayCHI on what we (Erin Malone and myself) learned from the effort. I’ll still be behind Steve Portigal and a few other multi-time presenters at BayCHI – maybe we can get a little Saturday Night Live type thing going (“Hey everybody, I’m so happy to be back here speaking at a BayCHI program for the eighth time!”).

See you there?

Designing for play at Ignite Bay Area

· Design, Information Architecture, Social Design, User Experience

Just got sent a link to all the videos from Ignite Bay Area last month.

Here’s my “Designing for Play” talk, a topic I’ll be exploring in greater depth at Web Visions, the Web 2.0 Expo, and Web Directions @media later this year:

There’ll be another Ignite in May coinciding with the Web 2.0 Expo, so get your submission in now.

The vision thing in Portland

· Design, Events, Social Design, User Experience

I’m pretty excited to be heading up to Portland for the first time to speak at Web Visions for the first time in May. Erin Malone and I will be doing our Designing Social Interfaces workshop (which includes learning and playing the Social Mania game), and I’ll be giving a talk on the subject of Designing for Play.

Here’s a little promo to whet your appetite:

WebVisions: Ten Years of Exploring the Future

…and even if the “visionary” thing is just a play on the name of the conference, well flattery will get you everywhere or at least it will get me to embed your video in my blog.

See me and other "web app masters" in San Diego next week

· Applications, Design, Social Design, User Experience

Time is fast running out to sign up for the first stop on the UIE Web App Masters Tour in San Diego on March 23 and 24 next week.

I have to admit I love seeing stuff like this in my inbox:

Oh, and if you’ve scrolled down this far, you can get a $300 discount for San Diego using the promo code CRUMLISH.

See you there?

Tags as collecting behavior

· Design, Information Architecture, Patterns, Searching and Finding, Social Design, User Experience, Yahoo!

When I first started curating the Yahoo! Design Pattern Library, I put “tags” near the top of my list of user interaction patterns to investigate. By that time, Yahoo! had already acquired several pioneers in the tagging realm, Flickr and Delicious, and there were some subtle distinctions in how they implemented the experience.

We got down in the weeds on these and did a lot of research, ultimately settled on offering high-level guidance, and finished the patterns in the course of writing the social patterns book, where we filed tagging under the group of patterns known as Collecting, under Social Objects.

Tagging and other forms of collecting are also an example of social design patterns that mimic game dynamics. Collecting objects is a core “easy fun” activity in many games, and similarly these extremely lightweight social interactions around gathering or tagging objects enable a form of self-interested behavior that creates aggregate value and potentially richer forms of engagement.

Our three new tagging patterns are Tag an Object, Find with Tags, and the somewhat controversial Tag Cloud, which some people view as an “anti-pattern.” Drop by, check them out, and let us know if we can make them any better.

Reposted from Patterns: Tag Collection (Yahoo! Developer Network Blog).

New navbar patterns in the Yahoo! library

· Design, Patterns, User Experience, Yahoo!

topnav barOver the past few months I conducted an audit of the patterns in Yahoo!’s internal design pattern library, with an eye toward publishing as many of them as possible in the open library at YDN. Why? Well, for one thing, to get more eyeballs on them, to gather more feedback and keep improving the patterns. Also, since very few patterns in the library contain Yahoo!-specific information, and an alternative process is now in place for vetting requirements specific to the Yahoo! network and brand components, the design pattern collection can now more easily focus on (relatively) universal design principles for web implementations.

I completed the audit before the end of last year and expect to release new patterns in batches over the next few months. Some patterns will be mature and provide a solid foundation for site design. A few will be published as beta patterns which may undergo significant changes in subsequent updates based on feedback received. Regardless of their status, we hope you’ll get involved and review and provide feedback on the patterns provided.

The first batch of patterns to come out from the audit relates to navigation bars. There are three patterns so far in this grouping: Top Navigation, Left Navigation, and Progress Bar. One legitimate question is whether top and left nav bars are still the best or most current way to navigate a site and find content? We still find many examples of them across the web and in use at Yahoo! so for now I’ll say yes, but it’s worth thinking about.

Wherever possible I try to link patterns back to the YUI Library and, where appropriate, to other code and implementation solutions. YUI has great support for navbars and menu examples. Probably the best place to start is the menu widget.

One interesting nomenclature issue we studied was the distinction between a stepwise progress indicator (which is what the pattern is about) and a continuous progress bar (for which there’s a great YUI example). These two things are often referred to with similar names, but perform different functions. Suggestions for more appropriate terminology are welcome.

Please check out these new patterns and let us know what you think!

Reposted from Three new navigation design patterns » Yahoo! User Interface Blog (YUIBlog).