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A Pattern Language for Textual Electronic Communications

A work in progress

Email is often described as the killer app for the Internet. People spend more time writing and reading email than any other Internet activity. When one adds in instant messaging, online chats, and other forms of textual electronic communications, the people affected by the design of these systems is enormous. The purpose of this pattern language is to help people design appropriate and humane textual electronic communications into systems they are building.

Using this pattern language we hope will allow system designers to create applications that make use of a range of ways for people to communicate, including traditional email, bulletin boards, chat rooms, instant messaging, web communities, and other ways of textual electronic communications. Each application would use the appropriate methods to meet the human needs of its users. These human needs must address that people are differentially abled/disabled: some have limited or no vision, others have trouble typing or using a mouse, and most are not computer professionals.

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Last edited March 11, 2005
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