Published in


UX Patterns ≠ UI Components

Our Community, not Companies, Should Build Pattern Libraries

2009’s Modular Web Design figures of Yahoo’s Pattern Library (left) and Sun.com’s Component Library (right)

Pattern Provenance

Christopher Alexander’s A Pattern Language.

Patterns in Software

The Rise of Patterns in Digital Design

Yahoo Pattern Library Home, About & Download pages, https://developer.yahoo.com/ypatterns/
Design pattern books from the latter 2000s

Pattern Literature Explodes

However, Patterns Aren’t Components

An accordion as a Yahoo Design Pattern and Bootstrap Javascript-driven Component

The 2011 & Beyond Era of Living Style Guides

Our Community Diluted Pattern’s Definition

Why “Patterns” Again, Now?

(Most) System Teams Shouldn’t Invest In (Many) Patterns

Start with One Essential Pattern

Then Who Creates Most of the Patterns? Could it be the Design Community, Together?



A collection of stories, studies, and deep thinking from EightShapes

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Nathan Curtis

Founded UX firm @eightshapes, contributing to the design systems field through consulting and workshops. VT & @uchicago grad.