Sunday, May 28, 2006

Design Patterns: Part 4

A continuation of the Design Pattern series ...

"I really like Bill’s discussion of the power of naming, both within the community of designers and when communicating with other stakeholders. Give a pattern a name – and the hard part is coming up with a name that evokes the spirit of the solution, rather than the details of the implementation – and then attach that name to one or more representative examples, and you can communicate a whole lot. I think it gets to the heart of design patterns – they’re a designer’s way of talking about design. We use words and pictures in combination to cut to the heart of a problem, and to illuminate a solution.

I’m intrigued by Luke’s question about using patterns versus trying something new, and I’d like to hear other folks’ take on it. My bias as a designer is almost always to borrow from existing patterns when available—both because it saves time, and because I feel the reuse of design patterns across products tends to help users orient themselves. Granted, sometimes the borrowed patterns end up in such different contexts they’re almost unrecognizable … but I don’t have an answer for how you know it’s the right time to go completely back to the drawing board. What are your thoughts?"   continued ...   (Via Functioning Form)

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