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Page history last edited by n.schadewitz@... 15 years, 3 months ago







An annotated design gallery supports sharing and interpreting of locally implemented design variations.


Culture Context

Supports Collectivist Community Orientation cultures. Bridges High and Low Contextual Communication Orientation, Universal and Particular Standard Orientation, Monochronic and Polychronic Time Orientation and High and Low Uncertainty Avoidance Orientation cultures.

This pattern was observed to work well in Hong Kong/Korean, Taiwanese,and Austrian contexts. It might be considered a universal solution.



The remote teams use the INTERNATIONAL HOME as a central resource to manage all design project related contents. This group environment facilitates the storage, creation and communication of design ideas and design variations that were implemented in LOCAL VARIATIONS. Furthermore, the global virtual team engages in STRUCTURED CHAT conversations in which they discuss local implementations.



Although distributed design learning teams share locally produced design representation frequently online, remote partners might not always fully understand the visual design representation and idea behind it. Although this place offers many methods to share, create and discuss, the use of those means to communicate design ideas may vary culturally.



How can you facilitate the unambiguous interpretation of visual design representation?



The design processes of local and remote teams can vary due to cultural differences in the orientation towards Uncertainty Avoidance, Standards, Contextual Communication and Timing. Universal Standard Orientation, High Uncertainty Avoidance Orientation, Low Contextual Communication and Monochronic Time cultures tend to develop a strong concept before they begin the implementation of the design. Those teams move from Low to High Contextual Communication in the design process quite linearly. Low Uncertainty Avoidance, Particular Standard, High Contextual Communication Orientation and Polychronic Time cultures tend to implement and frequently test design ideas and evolve design through trial and error. Moreover, design representations offer implicit, High Contextual information, which carry rich but ambiguous contents and ideas. Hence, misinterpretations of a representation can occur especially if participants with above-outlined opposite cultural dimensions collaborate.


Technological Solution

Offer a file and picture sharing facility to communicate design references among distributed design learning teams and motivate students to annotate those design examples, concepts, or representations of artefacts with textual summaries of the contents. The exhibits are displayed in thumbnails for overview and can be enlarged and viewed in detail on demand (Tidwell's pattern). Moreover the contents can be selectively displayed and grouped using the pattern WHO WHEN WHAT. Visual representations can be annotated and tagged with textual explanations.


Social Solution

This picture gallery is a part of the INTERNATIONAL HOME, which is used as a recourse and reference to discuss possible design ideas, solutions synchronously or asynchronously. Having a visual overview of global design directions helps making decisions on local processes and ideas. Being able to view a textual summary of a visual design representation allows for a more precise interpretation of the design. Annotation is also helpful in communicating the level of completion of a design representation.  



Collecting and displaying a diverse range of design activity in a central place supports users with culturally varying time perception to be aware of and interpret variations in local design processes. Being able to follow the local processes not only sparks discussions about the differences but also encourages the more liner working members to pay more effort in implementing their design ideas as early as possible, which is usually a problem for such cultures. Especially in Universal Standard Orientation cultures, design students have problems in moving from a diligent worked out concept to particular design implementations. Low Uncertainty Avoidance Orientation, Polychronic Time and Particular Standard Orientation cultures put forward a multiplicity of ideas and help High Uncertainty Avoidance Orientation, Monochronic Time and Universal Standard Orientation cultures to reduce their insecurity in moving forward in the design process. Particular Standard Orientation cultures pick a few representative ideas displayed in the gallery to develop the designs. Universal Standard Orientation cultures have an overview of the entire solution space and interpret a coherent picture from several design representations.


An annotated design presentation bridges the communication preferences of High and Low Contextual Communication Orientation cultures. Summaries of the meaning of design representations or ideas in textual annotations can help in dealing with breakdowns in interpreting local design processes and ideas. This particular communication strategy supports users in choosing upon which information the design representation is interpreted. High Contextual Communication Orientation cultures will take the sum of both kinds of information to construct a meaning. Low Contextual Communication Orientation cultures will invest more effort in reading or composing the textual description to clearly understand or convey the meaning of the visual representation.


Resulting Context

The design gallery shows the entire design space, However sometimes users just want to see a part of it or want to organize and display representations in different ways. Employing the pattern WHO WHEN WHAT allows users to structure the design space according to their needs and questions.



Tidwell (1997) proposed a pattern entitled OVERVIEW AND DETAIL that could be used in the design gallery to show a thumbnail of the representation in an overview and on go to the detail display on demand. Schummer (2003) proposed two patterns that identify an ARTIFACT REPOSITORY and SHARED ANNOTATIONS in computer-supported collaboration.


<-- Design Patterns Network


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