05 May 2018

What’s in a pattern name

But perhaps even more than that, they knew they needed to talk about their design patterns more consistently. As they started creating an inventory of all their existing patterns, they found one team used “atoms” to refer to each of its components, whereas another team used “atoms” and “organisms” interchangeably, regardless of how complex a given pattern might be; one team might refer to a specific kind of design pattern as a banner, while another might call a near-identical pattern featured hero; and so on.What’s in a pattern name

I can highly relate to what Ethan Marcotte is describing. I’ve worked with teams that refer to visual design as ‘wireframes’. I’m especially intrigued by the final part of his piece:

But in addition to that, these workshop teams gradually realize the primary benefit to creating a pattern library isn’t the patterns themselves. Don’t get me wrong: identifying strong, sustainable patterns is, y’know, why we do this work. But rather, they understand the language used to name, organize, and find their patterns is what allows them to use those patterns effectively—and that is what creates more consistent designs.

Would love to run something like this with clients.