Design Patterns: Defining and Sharing Web Interface Design Languages Panel Notes (SXSWi 2007)

Design Patterns: Defining and Sharing Web Interface Design Languages
Luke Wroblewski, Principal Designer – Yahoo! (

Rough Panel Notes:
why talk about design patterns? a dialog between design teams. Give you a shared language; pattern language.
giving things a name gives things a shared goal.
Pattern recognition – helps you recognize and understand meta information.
Stephen Johnson]s everything bad is good for you – talking about visual relationships that create patterns.
Yahoo design pattern library – used to be internal, but is now an open library. – pattern library
ebay pattern engine
what are design patters – Solutions to problems in context
repeatable solutions
works in specific contexts
best practices that solve real users needs
difference between principles and & guidelines
a design vocabulary – having a name around a solution
Examples of design patterns –
drag and drop
scope of design patterns – some are complex, yahoo keeps it pretty simple.
top down – frameworks + documentation
bottom up – components + documentation
The problem
use when (constraints)
who to contact regarding problem
why (rationale)
how to apply
related patterns
How are design patterns used?
as Style guide replacments – more flexible; they are obsolete; too general, too specific, doesn’t solve problems.
sharing best practices
Does it work for clients at web design agencies?
focus on solutions rather than rules
encourages good behavior
Sharing Best Practices
browse stuff that’s online
user centered goals
design constrains (the use when portion)
Example – top, right, or left aligned form labels?
advantages and disadvantages of each.

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