September 6, 2011
20+ articles on why and how to use design patterns

In this blog post I share with you the best articles, blog posts and presentations that discuss why you should use UI design patterns, how to build pattern libraries, and how to use patterns in everyday work. If you are not familiar with the concept of UI design patterns, start by reading “Design Patterns, part 1” by Martinj van Welie & Bill Scott, or visit Patternry Open UI Pattern library and just take a look to see what design patterns are all about.


Here I have collected the articles and discussions that explain the benefits of design patterns, components, and pattern libraries, from different perspectives.

Why have a design pattern library? - dezining interactions

Erin Malone, author of Designing Social Interfaces and former curator of the Yahoo! Design Pattern library, explains on her blog why you should build a design pattern library.

What is the best way to explain the value of interface guidelines and interaction design patterns to upper management? - Quora  

Discussion on Quora on how to communicate the value of a pattern library to company management.

Components, Patterns, and Frameworks! Oh My! - User Interface Engineering

Jared M. Spool explains the re-use trinity: Patterns, Components, and Interaction Design Frameworks.

The power of patterns: Bridging IA, design and development - Nonlinear Creations

A blog post by Amanda Shiga, discussing the benefits of a design pattern library.

So You Wanna Build a Library, Eh? - Boxes & Arrows

Nathan Curtis, author of Modular Web Design, writes about the big questions to ask before building a pattern or component library in this Boxes & Arrows article.

Impact of Design Patterns - Discussion on LinkedIn

Discussion on the benefits of design pattern libraries. “…the primary benefit of patterns is the conversation that goes into creating the patterns, maintaining the library, and choosing the right elements for each design project.” - Jared M. Spool.

Design Patterns: An Evolutionary Step to Managing Complex Sites - User Interface Engineering

Jared M. Spool, CEO of User Interface Engineering, explains how design patterns can help organizations, and what it takes to build a pattern library.

From Pattern to Component - UX Magazine

“A component is a reusable building block that fully encapsulates all the code necessary to put a design pattern into action”.

Pattern Languages for Interaction Design - An Interview with Erin Malone, Christian Crumlish, and Lucas Pettinati - Boxes & Arrows

Erin, Christian and Lucas talk about design patterns, pattern libraries, styleguides, and innovation.


Here are links to resources that teach you how to write design patterns and build pattern libraries.

How does your UX team generate Design Patterns (which become specifications) and communicate the specs across product teams during parallel product development cycles? - Quora

Discussion on Quora on how design teams generate and communicate patterns.

What is the best tool for publishing and collaborating on user interface patterns and guidelines?

Another Quora discussion, about the tools for creating, sharing and organizing design pattern libraries.

Postcard Patterns : An Agile User Interface Pattern Creation Process - SlideShare 

Ian Swinson & Jason Winters from present a fast and lightweight way to write design patterns.

An Introduction to Using Patterns in Web Design - 37Signals

Introduction on how to use patterns in Web design by Ryan Singer.

Tools for Creating Pattern Libraries - User Interface Engineering

Jared Spool writes about pattern library tools.

The Elements of a Design Pattern - User Interface Engineering

Read what people at User Interface Engineering put into their design pattern descriptions.

Tools for building a pattern library

Discussion on IxDA about design pattern library tools.

RDVO - Building UX Pattern Libraries

Ben Zipkin’s slides about building pattern libraries at RDVO.

Personal Pattern Books - Wireframes Magazine

A blog post about personal pattern books by Jakub Linowski, the author of Wireframes Magazine.

Implementing a Pattern Library in the Real World: A Yahoo! Case Study - Boxes & Arrows

An article about how to build a UI design pattern library, written by former Yahoo! Design Pattern library curators.

Design Patterns: Introduction - Functioning Form

A group of designers discuss the current and future role of design patterns in the real world.

Developing a UI Design Pattern Library - A Case Study

Janne Lammi, Co-founder of (that’s me), wrote his Master’s Thesis on building a design pattern library.

Designing with patterns in the real world: Lessons from Yahoo! And Comcast

Christian Crumlish’s presentation slides from IA Summit 2008.

Working With a Pattern Library Day to Day

Erin Malone’s article on how to work with a pattern library on a daily basis.

Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments.

Did you know you can use Patternry to create, share and organize design pattern libraries? Get started for free!

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