Supporting early-stage cross-device UI design using patterns


People often use a variety of computing devices, such as PCs, PDAs, and cell phones, to access the same information. Due to the attributes and limitations of each device, the interfaces across devices are often drastically different. If user interface designers want to target several devices, they either have to design an interface separately for each device, which is time consuming, or use a program to automatically generate interfaces, which often result in interfaces that are awkward. Each method also discourages iterative design, considered critical for creating good user interfaces.

I created a system called Damask to support the early-stage design of user interfaces targeted at multiple devices. With Damask, the designer designs a user interface for one device, by sketching the design and by specifying which design patterns the interface uses. The patterns help Damask generate user interfaces optimized for the other devices targeted by the designer. The generated interfaces are of sufficient quality so that it is more convenient to use Damask than to design each of the other interfaces separately, and the ease with which designers can create designs may encourage them to engage in iterative design. A future goal of Damask is to allow designers to create their own design patterns for use in their own projects and to share with other designers.




Damask is a research prototype that is no longer under active development. I am making it available for research purposes only. Use at your own risk. I do not provide any technical support.

To install and run: