“There are only patterns, patterns on top of patterns, patterns that affect other patterns. Patterns hidden by patterns. Patterns within patterns. If you watch close, history does nothing but repeat itself.” This quote comes from author Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Survivor, but it’s also a perfect summation of the world of user interfaces.
User Interface patterns (UI) are common best practices that serve as a reusable solution to a frequently occurring problems. Over time, users acclimate to these patterns and can even grow to expect them. Herein lies the issue. If a pattern becomes ubiquitous with a certain task, the user experience can be hindered if the pattern is not present or a suitable replacement is not offered.
As user experience designers, we need to keep up with these trends and patterns. However, it is not enough to just recognize and utilize them, but we must also understand the implications associated as well.
In this post, we will explore the following common UI patterns for further examples:
- Input – Inline validation
- Navigation – Infinite scroll
- Content management – Hover controls
- Data management – Draggable objects