Late Night with Design and Patterns

Ben has written about how to create a kick ass, high performance homepage, and, last week, he wrote about how to build a kick ass, high performance contact page.  In those posts he broke down the key elements – ingredients, if you will – in baking a super awesome website page.

I loved these posts. And, you – dear aggregate reader – love them too.  Both posts are very popular.  And for a good reason – Homepages start and Contact Pages end the critical path.  The advice he gives in the two posts are great.

But that’s not what I want to share tonight.

Design Patterns

Patterns are all around us. (That’s effen deep)

All homepages should do that same things.  They serve the same goals. They are formed by the same forces. Thus, a distinctive pattern emerges.  Same with the contact form.

Patterns are all over the place in design.  Designers deal with the same goals and same constraints and same forces. They are bound to develop similar, yet different products.

Between the Homepage and the Contact Form

Ben illustrates a design pattern for a homepage and, likewise with the contact form.  There are established patterns for these things.  Don’t believe me? [Why would you Mrs Skeptical?)  Just ask the mother flippin government – here is a list of design patterns they have collected.

But what about the patterns that aren’t the start page and the contact page?

 Amsterdam to the Rescue

Objects in screenshot are more powerful than they appear.

If you want to quickly scan design patterns that people either LOVE or HATE, then get over to Usabilla’s Discover tool.  The tool has a category and tagging system to help you quickly search website elements collected by users – like me!

For instance, a ‘team page’ that lists all of the good folks that are involved with a site or company is common on sites today.  It’s common.  It’s expected. And, a pattern has developed.  Check Usabilla Discover to find how people are doing it – I found this super awesome team page… OR, to collect your favorite examples.  They have categories – not mentioned OR CENSORED from our own government documents [I’m just kidding Uncle Sam]…

Here are some of the categories from Usabilla Discover

Gallery, Header, Footer, Advertisement, Headline, list Items… not to mention landing page and form.  They have it all down to the nitty and the gritty.  They also have tags to direct you to positive (a green heart) and negative (a broken red heart) examples.

What pool table, universal forces are involved in creating this pattern of a leaf? (SUPER EFFEN DEEP)

Closing Thoughts

  • Ryan Singer is the dude who introduced me to Christopher Alexander, who wrote about Design Patterns and the forces that shape them
  • We can mimic the patterns without understanding the forces – TO OUR PERIL
  • “Good artist steal” or however that quote goes
  • What are the forces involved in the contact page and landing page and all the other pages on the critical path?
  • After a young designer mimics the dominate patterns, they begin to understand the design forces at work.  Eventually, they develop a design style

… just my opinion.  Good night everyone and see you next time.



2 comments on “Late Night with Design and Patterns

  1. Pingback: BUX Podcast #50: Design Patterns and Better Contact Forms | A Better User Experience

  2. Pingback: Event Tracking: The Killer UX Feature in Google Analytics You Suck at Using | A Better User Experience

Leave a Reply