All posts about
Patterns

The language of modular design

Design lang, sys and lib are the foundation of great CX and UX.

“The biggest challenges around modularity are all the decisions that need to be reached: when to reuse a module and when to design a new one, how to make modules distinct enough, how to combine them, how to avoid duplications with the modules other designers and teams create, and so on. When modularizing an existing design or building a new one, it’s not always clear where to begin.”

(Alla Kholmatova a.k.a. @craftui ~ A List Apart)

Making and breaking UX best practices

Re-usable components, elements and patterns, the Holy Grail on UX Design.

“Imagine a website with a beautiful, enticing, full-screen image, where a transparent button leads to pages of well constructed, adaptive content. The navigation functions perfectly across devices, switching from a horizontal to a mobile menu at just the right times. Unfortunately a large portion of the potential audience lives in Africa, and won’t have the bandwidth to use it. Does that mean our best practices failed us? No, it means that an experience is made up of more than the sum of its parts.”

(Brendon Cornwell a.k.a. @bcornwell ~ The UX Booth)

InfoDesignPatterns: A design pattern taxonomy for the field of data visualization and information design

Pattern thinking can by applied to every field and practice. Information is an obvious application for patterns.

“Written by Christian Behrens and originated as the companion website for his Master’s thesis The Form of Facts and Figures in the Interface Design program at Potsdam University of Applied Sciences. Its goal is the development of a design pattern taxonomy for the field of data visualization and information design. The project core consists of a collection of currently 48 design patterns that describe the functional aspects of graphic components for the display, behavior and user interaction of complex infographics. The collection is part of a 200-page book that additionally includes a profound historical record of information design as well as an introduction into the research field of design patterns.”

(Christian Behrens a.k.a. @c_behrens)

How design patterns and component libraries create unity and context

Thinking about design as a system of patterns, components and elements.

“Components and patterns help create unity. They help create a consistent context. (…) Components and pattern libraries can lead to greater similarity across elements. That can be a good thing at times in that it creates a unified context. Similarity doesn’t have to mean sameness though. There can still be more than enough variety to keep things unique.”

(Steven Bradley a.k.a. @vangogh ~ vanseo design)

Designing Screens Using Cores and Paths: Designing from the inside out

Patterns are the designer’s best friend.

“Typically in web design, the opposite approach is the rule: designers begin with the homepage. They then work out a navigation scheme, which pages at the bottom of the site hierarchy automatically inherit whether it’s appropriate or not. The goal – or the primary content people are looking for or tasks they are trying to get done – turns out to be the last thing that gets attention in the design process.”

(James Kalbach a.k.a. @JamesKalbach ~ Boxes and Arrows)

Design Patterns: When Breaking The Rules Is OK

First learn to obey the rules, then break them. Not the other way around.

“(…) we can neither follow nor ignore design patterns completely. Instead, we need a deep understanding of the rules of human-computer interaction, so that we know when breaking them is OK.”

(Rian van der Merwe a.k.a. @rianvdm Smashing Magazine)

Are Design Patterns an Anti-pattern?

Or, how anti-patterns become dark patterns.

“Design patterns are generally considered a good thing, but do they actually help run a user experience group? As a user experience group manager and an observer (and sponsor) of design pattern exercises, I’ve come to have serious questions about their actual utility. It’s not that design pattern libraries are bad, but that in a world of limited resources, it is it is not clear that the investment is worth it. Fortunately, there is a better approach: reaching outside the design group to solve the whole problem.”

(Stephen Turbek a.k.a. @Stephenturbek ~ Boxes and Arrows)

Using Content Modules to Improve Efficiency and User Experience

Re-usable patterns, templates, components, modules, elements, and ‘what-have-you’ for content is the future.

“Content modules are small chunks of content that can be placed on standard web pages, typically in the right side-bar area or at the bottom of the page. Each module contains content that can be automatically (or manually) updated or changed based on certain criteria. Some types of pages, such as a home or landing pages, can be built almost entirely by using content modules as building blocks.”

(@KathyHanbury ~ E3 Content Strategy)

Want to Improve Your Coordination? Attend to Patterns

Using patterns creates rhythm, confidence, and trust.

“Like many of you, I’m passionate about crafting communication products that help others understand and act. I appreciate the work by writing practitioners who ask how sentence structure can support humans. I’m intrigued by the work of those of us who explore taxonomic relationships and ensure our tools bring consistency to thought. And recently I’ve become engaged by the thinking of information architects who attend to patterns and components.”

(Thom Haller a.k.a. @thomhaller ~ ASIS&T Bulletin Dec. 2011 – Jan. 2012)

Dark Patterns: Deception vs. Honesty in UI Design

Another way of phrasing dark patterns would be e-Commerce Magic.

“We might not like to admit it but deception is deeply entwined with life on this planet. Insects evolved to use it, animals employ it in their behavior, and of course, we humans use it to manipulate, control, and profit from each other. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that deception appears in various guises in user interfaces on the web today. What is surprising, though, is that up until recently it was something web designers never talked about. There was no terminology, no design patterns, and no real recognition of it as a phenomenon at all. If it wasn’t a taboo it certainly felt like one.”

(Harry Brignull a.k.a. @harrybr ~ A List Apart)

Patterns: Design Insights Emerging and Converging

“Patterns are how we capture and share some of the common insights we see bubbling up across projects, as well as out and about in the world. They are a foundation for intuition. A way to elevate insights to the level of cultural impact. And a way to tap into IDEO’s collective intelligence to do better work for our clients – even faster. We’ve had the privilege of tackling some of the toughest design challenges for some of the most innovative companies around the world. And what we’ve found is that many of these challenges are shared by multiple companies across a variety of industries. These are challenges we all have the potential to solve. But we believe that can only happen when we work together. Openly and collectively.” (IDEO) courtesy of ruurdpriester

Mobile Design Patterns: Interaction Models

“A model describing the method of user interaction with a device and its UI. Mobile devices typically use one of two models—direct or indirect manipulation. More recently, devices have been designed which also respond to gestural interactions.” (Forum Nokia)

Content Strategy Design Patterns

“A content strategy plans the full lifecycle of content: how it will be created, delivered, maintained and archived or destroyed. This project focuses on web content: all forms of digital language and media found on websites. As an integral part of User Experience, web content strategy must take account of search engine optimization, user interface design, user needs, business needs, and other aspects of online strategy. (…) To paraphrase IAWiki, “Design Patterns are solutions to common problems. As problems arise in a community and are resolved, common solutions often spontaneously emerge. Eventually the best of these self-identify and become refined until they reach the status of a Design Pattern.” (Contentini)

Design Patterns for Mobile Faceted Search: Part II

“This month’s column covers strategies for making people more aware of the filtering options that are available to them, as well as methods of improving transitions between the various states a user encounters in a search user interface.” (Greg Nudelman ~ UXmatters)

Search Patterns is Customer Behavior and Business Insights

Interview with Peter Morville about his new book Search Patterns – “(…) I’m a skeptic when it comes to grand visions of The Semantic Web. In narrow domains such as medicine, we can develop thesauri (or ‘ontologies’) that define terms precisely and map hierarchical, equivalent, and associative relationships. But these approaches simply don’t scale, and they can’t keep up with the rapid evolution of language and knowledge.” (Bridgeline Digital)

The Promise of Using UI Patterns for Large Software Packages Revisited

“In this case study, we reflect on how a UI pattern-based design for building standard business software affects the user experience and the user-centered design process. We learned that pattern-based design does not optimize the user experience per se. Additional factors, such as user-centered design, prototyping tools, and management support determine the success or failure of the pattern-based approach. Interweaving the factors in the right way is a prerequisite for success.” (Annette Stotz and Udo Arend – SAPDesignGuild)

Developing a UI Design Pattern Library

“Designing good user interfaces is difficult, and thus software development organizations need effective and usable design tools to support design work. In this thesis a tool, a user interface design pattern library which captures knowledge of good UI design and shares it effectively in reusable format to the development organization (…)” (@Janne Lammi 2007)

Search Patterns

“Search is among the most disruptive innovations of our time. It influences what we buy and where we go. It shapes how we learn and what we believe. This provocative and inspiring book explores design patterns that apply across the categories of web, e-commerce, enterprise, desktop, mobile, social, and real time search and discovery. Using colorful illustrations and examples, the authors bring modern information retrieval to life, covering such diverse topics as relevance ranking, faceted navigation, multi-touch, and mixed reality. Search Patterns challenges us to invent the future of discovery while serving as a practical guide to help us make search applications better today.” (Peter Morville & Jeffery Callender)

More Like This: A Design Pattern

“The idea behind the More Like This pattern is very simple: within each group of items representing a particular category from a catalog or accompanying each item in search results, provide a prominent link or button with a label that is some variation of More Like This. Of course, the devil, as they say, is in the details.” (Greg NudelmanUXmatters)