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Identifying Patterns

To assist in the process of seeing patterns, we developed the matrix shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Matrix for HCI Principles in a Related Pattern

Sets of principles were placed on a matrix. While the implication of asking whether the principle related to analysis, design, and/or implementation is self explanatory, the classification of principles as lexical, syntactic or semantic requires further explanation. In practice, we came to interpret these classes as relating to the granularity or specificity of the principle being placed. For example, we classed a principle such as ``avoid the use of red and green'' as a lexical level principle -- highly specific, granularity detail. We would class a principle about the maximum or optimal number of colors on a screen at the syntactic level, and one about using red as a danger color at the semantic level. While we were able to use these conceptual classifications operationally, we were never quite satisfied that we were able to capture meaningful general conceptualizations about the specificity/granularity/level of the principles.

After a matrix was populated from the initial grouping, it was examined to determine whether one of three conditions existed:

  1. If sets of principles existed in a given cell, we sought to reduce the number of individual entries by generalizing the principles.
  2. If cells were empty or sparsely filled in we looked to determine if the adjacent cells implied principles that might be inserted.
  3. If principles from the initial group had not been placed, or if there were principles that had been placed on the matrix or that were clearly related, but not central, they were listed outside the matrix.

After studying the principles on the matrix, adding and subtracting principles, etc. a first attempt was made to give the clusters descriptive names.

next up previous
Next: Pattern validation Up: Methodology Previous: Generating Data for

Michael Spring
Mon Nov 27 18:39:52 EST 1995