Building an entire new website from scratch is a large task. To ease the task, we often tend to fall back and reuse parts of old websites we have created. This is how you evolve your own look-and-feel. As we develop more and more websites, our vocabulary of possible outcomes of a website designs increase. We thus become better at building websites over time, as our over time larger design vocabulary lets us pick and choose exactly what we want. Our designs in this way become more and more refined as we develop more and more websites. Our experience grow.
We are all in the same boat! What separates us is the magnitude of our experience: the number of websites we have created. You, the reader might just have created your first website, or you might be a veteran – either way you are in quest for the same thing: to expand your design vocabulary.
Fortunately, we are all in luck. Several individuals and organizations have been jotting down their experience in website design, and put it out for free on the internet for you to use. These websites hold collections of user interface design patterns. In formal words, design pattern are:
“…recurring solutions to solve common problems…”
Jennifer Tidwell continues:
“Each of these patterns (which are more general) and techniques (more specific) are intended to help you solve design problems. They’re common problems, and there’s no point in reinventing the wheel every time you need, say, a sortable table — plenty of folks have already done it, and learned how to do it well.”
Source: Designing Interfaces
At motigo, we find design patterns extremely useful. This is why we would like you to get started using them. Why not harvest the knowledge of many experienced designers before you? Start out by checking out these sites:
A rather new, but also rapidly updated website focusing on combining theory with practise with the goal of providing tutorials for each pattern.
- Designing interfaces
A veteran in pattern libraries. The contents of this site has even been published in book form
- Welie pattern collection
Perhaps the largest design pattern collection out there.
- Yahoo! design pattern library
Design patterns used at Yahoo!
How have you used design patterns? And have you been using them without knowing about them?