A pattern language: Designing a hazard information map interface for community-based users
International Journal of Asia Digital Art and Design Association
Japan Science and Technology Agency
School of Arts and Humanities
This paper explains guidelines that arose from a collaborative research project that aimed to make map-based bushfire information more accessible to people in remote and regional Australian communities. The MyFireWatch web application was a practical outcome from this research and was the result of several iterations of user and service-provider engagement. This application delivers a web-based interface that works on desktop and mobile devices which displays bushfire locations around Australia in near real-time. As a way of generalising from the work undertaken that resulted in the MyFireWatch application, guidelines were created to inform others working in similar domains. These guidelines are presented here in the form of a pattern language and are intended to inform the design of similar systems. Pattern language has previously been used in architecture, software engineering and interaction design as a means of exchanging knowledge in a way that provides specific solutions to recurring problems, yet these solutions are generalised so that they can be applied in different scenarios. The pattern language described here is intended to encourage others who may be working with map-based hazard information to consider various aspects of the interface and its functionality. It is hoped that in doing so, communities in Australia and beyond will find such systems more accessible, intuitive and easy to use.