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Are Design Patterns Destroying Web Design?

I found an intersting commentary on Web DesignerDepot regarding how many popular trends in UX are so 'templatized' that they might be destroying web design, or at least confusing marketing managers into thinking that unless a design follows a certain layout and pattern, it's unusable.

Design patterns are common solutions to common problems. When you add a slider to a homepage you’re employing a design pattern. When someone asks: “Why reinvent the wheel?” they’re advocating the adoption of a design pattern. On the Web, the term “design patterns” most often refers to programming techniques, however design patterns also exist within visual design. And whilst solving a recurrent coding problem with the same solution is an efficient approach, reusing a visual design is not as desirable.

Design patterns are far less common in print design than on the Web, despite the fact that print design has had much longer in which to devise them. The reason for this is that web design is heavily influenced by disciplines such as information architecture, coding, and usability; all of which embrace the use of design patterns.

Programmers don’t value originality, they value effective, elegant solutions. If you’ve ever written in PHP you’ll know that there are numerous ways to retrieve data from a database, but most PHP coders have one snippet they use time and again. If you’ve written JavaScript you’ll know that there are a variety of ways of looping, but one of them is more efficient, and generally preferable. In fact, most code editors have a snippets function precisely because programmers reuse solutions.

Designers on the other hand, do value originality, and whilst it’s probably true that some designers use design patterns because they lack the imagination (or courage) to do otherwise, most designers are simply adopting a formula that has been proven to get results.

Read the full article at WebDesignerDepot >

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