Living with someone presents unique challenges. Take loading the dishwasher. Say you go to load the dishwasher, but there is a small plate where you’d normally put your mug. The struggle is real. Sharing a common space when you have different systems for organizing can be painful. The same is true for website development and design – that’s why we use pattern libraries.
Pattern libraries create efficiencies in website design and development
In a large-scale enterprise website, the front-end code is the ultimate common space. Many different individuals contribute to it: designers create the visual styles and user interface elements; front-end developers write the markup and CSS; and developers hook the elements up to back-end systems. If everyone who touches front-end code applies their own method of organizing it, things get chaotic very fast! Enter pattern libraries.
Pattern libraries house essential elements of website design
A pattern library is a framework for organizing the building blocks of a website’s user interface. Far beyond a traditional style guide, a pattern library defines how the elements of a website look, behave and are built.
From the smallest piece, such as a link style, to the largest component - everything has a predictable place within the framework. And since pattern libraries are living breathing repositories of code, they adapt to different display sizes responsively.
Pattern libraries deliver real business value
Pattern libraries aren’t just a feel-good technique for development teams. They have real business value. Pattern libraries speed up delivery by streamlining the work of cross-functional teams. They are also easily extendable and provide a scalable system that can grow and adapt over time.
Check out some of the key benefits we pass on to clients by using pattern libraries:
- By using a familiar framework for the organization, the whole team gets up and running quickly. Pattern libraries also helps anyone who joins the project mid-stream hit the ground running.
Better visibility resulting in site consistency
- Teams understand the design as a system of interworking parts rather than one-off pages. This supports strategic re-use and scalability so that a site doesn’t wind up with 30 link styles and 25 slightly different shades of grey!
Smoother transition from design to code
- When teams are using agile methodology, waterfall hand-offs from design to development simply don’t work. The common framework of a pattern library allows design and development to iterate together in a shared space. Plus, it eliminates the need to mock up a design at every possible display size.
Less reliance on documentation
- Detailed functional specifications are time consuming to create and maintain. Pattern libraries can communicate the same information much more efficiently, and they never become obsolete.
Sandbox for language & content variation
- Many enterprise sites must support multiple languages. Using a pattern library, we can easily test out the impact of language variations on a design. Want to see how that headline style holds up on a mobile phone when you translate the text into German? Just edit the text, and see it instantly in the browser!
Using best practices to deliver the best results
Siteworx started using pattern libraries a few years ago and we haven’t looked back. The pattern libraries we’ve developed demonstrate our commitment to accelerate time-to-value, which enables us to deliver better results to clients sooner. What’s not to love?
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