Design patterns

Peter Zalman
Nov 25, 2015 · 4 min read

User Interface Design Patterns

When a new product is designed, everyone wants it to be “Easy to use”. But how this “Easy to use” is achieved?

Repeated experience feels (easy) familiar. Cognitive ease by Daniel Kahneman.

Familiarity and Affordance

The key components of “Easy to use” are familiarity and affordance.

Duck test.

New and radical

Surprisingly what I often see is, that brand new products contain previously unseen new patterns aiming to solve a very common goals — such as tabbed navigation, dropdowns or form input.

  • Non-standard design pattern increase learning curve. There is no need to document how a standard button works. But previously unseen pattern needs explanation and documentation.
  • Non-standard design pattern increases development costs — implementing non-standard pattern from scratch takes more time than referencing to an existing UI pattern.
  • Non-standard design pattern increases product maintenance costs. Fixing defects in non-standard design pattern is more expensive, as there might be no common ground around all possible edge use cases.

Standard vs. Non-standard

There is no formal norm or definition, what is a standard. As everything in design, it depends…on actual users. The good starting point is to understand the platform. Chances are, that majority of Windows users would be somewhat familiar with basic UI atoms and molecules — checkboxes, buttons, radio buttons, tabs, modals.

Detailed guidelines for checkboxes.

Best practices


There is nothing innovative or radical on UI component if the component needs an explanation to be used in a right way.


There are tons of resources on design patterns. Lately, I liked this short summary by Morgan Carter.

Liked it? Please recommend it or continue with Design Process.

Enterprise UX

Design stories from designing apps at large enterprise for large enterprises.

Peter Zalman

Written by

I am crafting great ideas into working products and striving for balance between Design, Product and Engineering #UX. Views are my own.

Enterprise UX

Design stories from designing apps at large enterprise for large enterprises.