Post-Modern Job Posting: Pattern Curator

It’s cool to see Yahoo! posting a job for pattern curator:

CURATE THE YAHOO! PATTERN LIBRARY Yahoo!’s Platform User Experience Design team is looking for a new curator for the Pattern Library. The curator works with designers from across Yahoo! to develop new patterns and to eventually migrate a pattern to the public library. You will be responsible for spotting trends in the designs of our properties, for designing and crafting new additions to the library and for evangelizing the authorship of new patterns among your Interaction Designer colleagues. You will partner with our Platform Presentation Engineering team to create interactions and best practices that accompany the UI Widget Library. Additionally, you will own the external Public Pattern Library and develop the pattern lifecycle from internal to external libraries. And last but not least, you will be the spearhead and driver for a new addition to our Library suite – a new Terms Library and will work closely with our internal editorial team.

Patterns will become more important to organisations as companies realise there’s value in concrete advice based on real-world examples, to complement vague mission statements with stuff people can actually use day to day. This will be aided by the general trend towards wikis and more user-friendly document evolution. For several years now, Yahoo! has been using patterns in this more holistic sense, and the ad for a pattern curator suggests they’ve been more than happy with the results.

One thought on “Post-Modern Job Posting: Pattern Curator

  1. The one thing I don’t understand is the phrases “pattern lifecycle.” I don’t know why, but the concept of a “pattern curator” comes across as promoting groupthink within an organization. For one, you can’t “develop new patterns,” but instead identify them. When Christopher Alexander spoke of design patterns, he looked at a particular quality of a building and how various buildings achieved it best. For example, a pleasant room might be a room with at least two natural light sources. You don’t develop that, you identify it across disparate building architectures.

    On the other hand, we can discuss the benefit of “Visual Attacks.” There are anecdotal stories about the government employing rare people who are able to notice unusual noise in an image just by looking at it. This unusual noise is a tip-off that the image contains a steganographic message. This is known as a “Visual Attack.” Similarly, Yahoo and other companies might desire hiring architects gifted in the “visual attack” of it’s design. How many people are capable of doing this? Does Yahoo benefit from being ‘Big’ and having a larger pool of code for these curators to look at? (I think so).

    Their pattern library workflow suggests they have some strategy in place to make the “visual attack” easier.

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