Perhaps the most important thing to designing your website is to make sure it is both valuable and intuitive at the same time. If it does not contain any of these features, it will not be useful, has no additional value, and has no reason to use it. So, this is where UX (user experience) comes into play. It refers to how users feel while interacting with a system (website, app, software, or device). A great UX directly connects the users with products by fulfilling their needs in the easiest way possible.
The best thing about UX design patterns is that they provide logical and easy-to-use navigation solutions while ensuring a visually appealing UI design. Not only this, UX design patterns provide tried-and-tested solutions to everyday users’ problems.
In this article, you’ll check out the importance of UX design patterns, examples, and how designers can use them to enhance the UX of a website
Let’s have a look.
Importance of UX Patterns
UX design patterns are the familiar building blocks for building UIs. Designers use UX design patterns as reusable components in order to solve common usability issues. For example, a breadcrumb is one of the design patterns that shows the user which page they are on the path back to the home page.
Undeniably, UX design patterns enhance the user experience. They typically follow a universal design standard familiar to users; therefore, reducing the time and cognitive load required to learn and navigate a new website or product.
A poor interface design leads to a lack of market share. This way, customers easily switch to other websites if they can’t find out what they are looking for. Customers have high standards when it comes to business’ websites or apps.
Designing a website or app with great UX is essential nowadays to stay in business. Saas applications are considered as one of the most complex software written, but then there are UX principles that can help any SaaS product succeed. It organizes all the meaningful information into an easily understandable hierarchy that users can quickly navigate.
The bottom line is that a user can go elsewhere without the right design of a website. In addition, customers tend to be less likely to do such businesses for future perspectives.
How Does it Elevate User Experience?
Design patterns let designers create user interfaces faster, but it also enhances the user experience. UX design patterns follow a universal design standard familiar to users. This way, it is also useful to users and makes it easier for them in order to reduce time and mental efforts to navigate the site.
If users interact with an interface, then they connect with some unknown elements as they have encountered earlier. For instance, users expect endless scrolls when they interact with social media sites. Hence, UX design patterns offer these unexpected outcomes to users.
When users experience familiar interactions in terms of design patterns, they don’t have to spend a lot of time analyzing every decision they make. Additionally, fulfilling your users’ expectations gives them a dopamine hit. That’s why design patterns enhance user experience.
What are UX Pattern Libraries and where to find them?
A pattern library is a collection of user interface design elements. Moreover, we can say that a pattern library is a collection of design components, which appear multiple times on a website. The examples are slideshows, navigation, social media features, news listings, and related links.
The pattern library documents entirely these patterns or components and defines how they behave, what they look like, and how they are added. The famous examples of pattern libraries are Mailchimp, BBC Gel, and Starbucks.
The pattern library provides an excellent and fresh collection of UI elements such as buttons, badges, profile designs for both iOS and Android. With this pattern, you can find out the following:
- A built-in RSS feed
- Filter-based navigation system
- Tracks all popular app development trends
- Both iOS & Android patterns are available
This is a mobile app UX design pattern library for iOS. It embraces a series of screenshots of approximately 170 apps and over 10,000 patterns. Also, designers can add favorites to their own library.
It includes some interfaces, which are easy and pleasant to look at. The screenshots are grouped by patterns or elements. Here you can check out some features of Mobbin Design:
- Users can save favorite entries and view them in the ‘My Library’ folder.
- For favorite items, a social media sharing feature is enabled.
- The entries are filtered by patterns and elements.
- You can find over 10,000 design patterns collected from 170+ iOS apps.
Steps to Use UX Pattern for Designers
Knowing when to use a design pattern is essential for both design and user experience. Designers should use design patterns when there is an exact usability reason. For example, if there is no issue with the user interface, then there is no need for a design pattern. In other words, we can say that if it is not broken, don’t try to fix it. Check out four main steps, which can be used by designers for applying UX design patterns:
1. Recognize the problems: It’s good to identify usability problems when doing research using surveys and interviews. To improve the UX of an existing website, designers should use the following:
- A/B Testing
- Focus Groups
- Support tickets to detect usability problems
2. Analyze the solutions of problems: It’s great to visit websites, which are similar. Now, examine how they solve the issues, which are identified in step 1. It’s most likely that you will discover that these websites use more than one design pattern to solve the problems.
3. Investigate the efficiency of the solutions: This way, you can make the assessment based on the requirements of your users and the objectives they need to achieve on the latest project.
4. Opt for the patterns that are most suited for the site: Choose the best-suited pattern for your site and users’ needs and investigate it further. Also, designers can look for other websites to find out how to personalize them for the particular needs of users.
Examples of UX Design Patterns
There are mainly four types of UX design patterns that deal with different site functions.
1. Navigation: It guides users when they navigate the site and help them to find their way back to the home page.
2. Content Structuring: It helps designers to organize site content so that users can find it easily.
3. Input & Output: It deals with how users submit or input data into a website and how it gives feedback or response.
4. Social media and Sharing: It helps users to engage with the website’s content and share it.
Moreover, some other design patterns are hierarchy and incentivization.
Where to Find Design Patterns on the Web
There is an excellent reference named as UI-Patterns.com for learning more about different UI patterns and when to use them. This website lists solutions for challenges in usability like navigation, user input, etc. Following are the other references:
- Endeca – User Interface Design Pattern Library
- Welie – Interaction Design Pattern Library
- Elements of Design: Web Design Gallery
Being a designer, if you are looking to solve some common usability problems, then following design patterns can do wonders for your project. It simply enhances UX by lessening the time and effort that users spend while navigating the site.
Keep in mind that web design patterns are ultimately guidelines but not a law. Even though strictly following these web design patterns, the chances are your designs may not serve your users perfectly. If there are some changes to your interface usability, you can conduct user testing. After that, you can tweak UI elements accordingly to enhance ease of use. Initially, you would not notice the benefits, but you’ll surely see your website’s growth exponentially.
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