A Pattern Language
In Chapter 2 I introduced the idea of Design Systems. In this chapter I’d like to introduce the idea of ‘pattern langauges’ as I begin to explore the ‘Components → Patterns → Pages…’ part of the interface equation.
A pattern language is a system for cataloguing and describing good design practice. The term was coined in 1977 by the architect, Christopher Alexander (who I’ll return to shortly). Essentially pattern languages are used to gather tried and tested solutions to design problems, for example, a login pattern that’s been shown to work through testing.
The thinking behind pattern langauges pre-dates design systems by quite some time.
Pattern languages, as they relate to user interface design, were popularised by Pattern Tap, an influential website established in 2008 by the prodigiously talented Matthew Smith, which popularised the thinking behind pattern langauges and design patterns. Sadly, Pattern Tap is no more, lost – as so many websites are – to the ravages of