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Part: II Patterns

Part II: Patterns

We have organized the patterns conceptually and divided them into groups, starting with site genres and moving progressively toward particular page elements. This structure gives you a way to navigate the patterns quickly.

You may wish to read each pattern group as a whole or skim from group to group. By using the pattern groups, you can separate the elements you need at each level of your design. Each pattern connects to related patterns in other groups. Once you have chosen one pattern, refer to the related patterns you need to fill out your design. You may also want to read the related material we reference in the Resources section of the book.

If you read patterns outside your core site needs, you may find that at first the patterns do not seem to make sense for your Web site. But you may end up using patterns you did not plan to use because they embody principles or features necessary to complete your vision. We are presenting what we see as the essential elements of customer-centered Web site design.

Keep in mind that this collection of patterns is by no means complete. Patterns are a constantly evolving language that changes as our tools, technologies, practices, and culture change.

Pattern Group A Site Genres

In this pattern group we have categorized Web sites into types that we refer to as genres. Each genre has its own content, needs, and audience.

This pattern group provides the framework you need to construct many different kinds of sites. Each site pattern gives you concrete ways to differentiate your site and explains how to deliver the best experience to your customers. The site genre patterns are high-level and fairly abstract, describing general properties and characteristics of various types of Web sites. Throughout the text of each pattern are many references to other, lower-level patterns, which contain more details for designing and implementing the ideas presented, as well as references to other related patterns.

Not all Web sites have the same customer requirements. STIMULATING ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT (A9) sites and EDUCATIONAL FORUMS (A8), for example, differ as much in design as they do in content. Arts and entertainment sites engage people by immersing them in new worlds and ideas; educational forums build dialogues around the concerns of the educational community.

That said, you might pull ideas from one genre to another so that each can benefit from elements of the other. Educational forums may benefit from clearly defined areas that purposely break the rules of navigation to encourage exploration and discovery. Stimulating arts and entertainment sites may include educational forums on related topics, to promote a depth of understanding.

Just as there are differences between genres, though, there are also strong similarities. Both sites in the previous example need good navigation cues and searchable pages.



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