Overview & Map

Patterns:

The pattern languages are not a procedure or a how to guide. Rather they presents solutions that have been successfully used in the past to common problems within particular contexts. It also indicates when these patterns either support, conflict with each other or when a problem caused by one pattern results in the need for a new pattern. 

The contents and structure of individual patterns are described on the 'Elements' page. 

See here for the Wikipedia description of pattern languages.

The PAI Pattern Language:

The image to the right shows the entire PAI pattern language.

  • Each grey oblong is an individual pattern.
  • The lines between the patterns indicate how they are related to other patterns, in either conflict, related or parent-child
  • The patterns are grouped into three zones that show patterns that have a high degree of connectivity.
Zones:
  • Illustration Zone - This zone contains patterns that are heavily connected to the pattern 'Discernible Details'. As a group these patterns describe problems and solutions for how to illustrate objects for PAIs.
  • Viewing Angle Zone - This zone contains patterns that are heavily connected to the pattern 'Stable Point of View'. As a group these patters describe problems and solutions for the viewing angle and the arrangement of parts.
  • Action Zone - This zone contains patterns that are heavily connected to the pattern 'Action / State'. As a group these patters describe problems and solutions for the how to depict action sequences and different action types.

Click here to view the zones in more detail.

Note:
  • Some of the patterns are shared between zones. The 'Stable Point of View' pattern in particular is connected to both the 'Discernible Details' and the 'Action / State' patterns showing how central this concept is for the design of PAIs. 
  • The 'Instruction Format' pattern sites outside of the groups as this is the parent pattern for the entire pattern language.
Authority and Completeness:

Is this the final, complete and authoritative pattern language for the design of PAIs? No. 

The pattern language presented here is based on published research, discussions with experienced PAI designers and my own experiences designing PAIs. Over time as the patterns are used by myself and others new and diverse experiences will challenge and inform the development of the patterns. This is the nature of the pattern languages, to codify knowledge emerging from practice and provide a format for ongoing discussion and development. The Wiki process of online collaboration was first developed to enable the community development of software patterns.

In addition this pattern language was developed for paper based PAIs. With the development of tablet computing and the connectivity of media devices it is inevitable PAIs will shift (in part) to digital mediums. This provides opportunities such as animation, augmented reality and customization which will enable new ways to communicate and overcome the problems of paper-based PAI communication, but may, at the same time, introduce new conflicts and problems that require resolution. 

As these patterns are used in these new technological contexts it is expected the language will develop, change and improve.

Click on the map to see a larger version.

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