Patterns for Success: A Lesson in Usable Design from U.S. Patent Records

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Abstract:

This article investigates the design history of certain published artifacts--women's household sewing patterns--as that history is recorded in U.S. Patent Records. When a patented item is a published artifact, the U.S. Patent Record may contain valuable information on the author's perception of users and analysis of solutions for usability problems. This case illustrates the evolution toward a single standard despite early proprietary design solutions.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1997

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  • Technical Communication, the Society's journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field's most noteworthy writers. Among its most popular features are the helpful book reviews. Technical Communication is published quarterly and is free with membership.
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