The web has been around from 1990, and still we see crap sites. When someone who has little to do with technology puts up a pathetic site, you can sneer and move on. But when sites that claim to be about learning, knowledge and technology can’t get their act together – there’s just no excuse. Yet too often I see sites that are technologically dysfunctional, hard to navigate, have no fit for purpose, or are just plain ugly (I’m avoiding links her on purpose).
And really, there is no excuse. All it takes is a bit of attention to detail. Not just because the technology is cheap, not just because there’s a lot of good designers out there. Most of all, the design knowledge is out there, its free and its easy to find. Let me make it even easier. Here are a few useful collections of design patterns for UI / web / interaction / visualisation design. From now on, evey time you have a problem – find the relevant patterns and apply.
Books with companions sites:
van Duyne, Landay and Hong: design of sites
Jenifer Tidwell: Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design
Till Schümmer and Stephan Lukosch: Patterns for Computer-Mediated Interaction
Michael Mahemoff: Ajax Design Patterns
Web collections / repositories
Martijn van Welie’s interaction design patterns
the Yahoo! Design Pattern Library
Tom Ericson’s interaction design patterns (a collection of collections)
Interface design patterns
Great info visualisation patterns, and true to form – a very nice visualisation of the patterns themselves
Mobile UI design patterns
New and promising
These two are low on content, but I like their style. They are open repositories, so hopefully will grow with time
Fluid project open source design pattern library
Brian Christiansen pattern collection
Is hosted by Chris messina as a Flickr collection, with each pattern represented by a short text and a heap of screenshots, so obviously appealing to visual thinkers
And of course..
The Pattern Language Network, which I’ve been working on for the last year and a bit. Still a bit messy, focused more on the social practices than the technology, but worth a look
(we should get nicer URL soon)