One thing you will find in abundance are libraries of interactions, often called widgets. Richie Hazlewood posted this link to the HCI distribution list earlier today, but it’s not the only one. The “components” that ship with Flash are another set, and information architect folks (e.g., Garrett) likewise have a standardized collection of interaction diagrams.
To me, these feel more like libraries than languages, and I’ve been thinking about what I mean by that distinction. Are the elements of the language of film more or less equivalent to search boxes, accordians, table filters, tabs, shopping carts, and store locators? My gut tells me that there is a difference, in that one is oriented toward human expression, and another is oriented toward UI engineering, that is, how we structure code and interfaces for optimal performance. But is this distinction legitimate (i.e., that there really is a difference out there), or is it habit (i.e., that we’re just used to thinking about things that way)?
I actually would like to hear what you all think about this; it may or may not come up in class this semester. So I encourage comments, opinionating, and even pontificating here, where appropriate.