Great article Callie! I couldn’t agree more, it is of my opinion that designers often confuse best practices with design patterns. Best practices are the framework from which design patterns are born.
For instance it’s a best practice to organize an app’s structure according to the content and tasks you want users to see as well as accessibility to information users are seeking. There are several design patterns that exist that address structure and organization. There are hamburger menus, embedded navigation, tabbed menus, nested navigation, etc…according to NNG, hamburger menus are quickly becoming an anti-pattern. This shows that the design pattern used is not necessarily the best solution for the problem.
The only thing I wouldn’t agree with is the statement that “browsing is not the dominant search pattern”; I just gave a talk on information strategy for product search and I think browsing vs search behavior will depend on the size of the site, the nature of the site (eComm vs apartment finding) and the search engine used. Nevertheless, great article!