In 2004, Jakob Neilson wrote about two studies that looked at a database of websites and compiled a list of standard UI patterns based on usage. The studies looked at 100's of web pages and categorized common elements as either a standard, convention, or confusion, using the following rules:
Standard: 80% or more of websites use the same design approach. Users strongly expect standard elements to work a certain way when they visit a new site because that's how things always work.
Convention: 50-79% of websites use the same design approach. With a convention, users expect elements to work a certain way when they visit a new site because that's how things usually work.
Confusion: with these elements, no single design approach dominates, and even the most popular approach is used by at most 49% of websites. For such design elements, users don't know what to expect when they visit a new site.
I've seen a lot of websites and other resources that list out different kinds of UI patterns, but none that I've seen mention usage or standardization. I would be interesting to have a method for defining how standardized something is, based on usage.
- Does such a project exists?
- Would it even be possible or helpful?