A Pattern Language Approach to Usability Knowledge Management

Peer-reviewed Article

pp. 76-90Download full article (PDF)

Abstract

Knowledge gained from usability testing is often applied
merely to the immediate product under test and then forgotten—at least
at an organizational level. This article describes a usability knowledge
management system (KMS) based on principles of pattern language and use-case
writing that offers a way to turn lessons learned from usability testing
into organizational knowledge that can be leveraged across different projects
and different design teams.

Practitioner’s Take Away

  • Usability Knowledge Management System does not have to be complicated;
    it just has to be useful for informing design decisions.
  • Patterns are a practical way to abstract usability findings so they
    can be generalized across other projects and other teams.
  • Use-case and scenario names can provide useful metadata structures
    for retrieving usability patterns.
  • My KMS is not your KMS: Patterns and metadata that make my knowledge
    useful in the kinds of applications I design might not be the same patterns
    that make your knowledge useful. Create patterns that work for your design
    needs.