Design Patterns & Processes

The design process is weird and complicated because it involves people and organisations, which are often weird and complicated.
— Mark Boulton

Thinking about design processes, what often comes to mind are pre-existing elements that we drag and drop onto our design. We seldom think before we design. At a young age I was taught to think before I spoke. Not to simply blab out the first thing that comes to mind. This has taught me to slow the rate thoughts are converted into actions. The same can apply to our design processes.

What we often confuse with design patterns are things like standard forms, the default menu button (the infamous burger button), power pages, parallax designs, etc. But these examples are not design patterns, they're more like design trends. Here today, replaced tomorrow.

There are many perspectives on what a good design process looks like.

Each client and each person involved in a project has their own ideas. Traditionally a design process may be perceived as one continuous line with a beginning and an end. The line might curve and twist, the journey might speed up or slow down, but ultimately it's a series of decisions and outcomes that terminate at the end point. Linear. Predictable.

What the design process really looks like is more along the lines of a mind map. A lattice of crossing and overlapping lines. Many beginnings, many conclusions, spin-offs, rebirths and some leaps back and forth. Since many people are involved, the input into the process is complex.

What eventually happens is that everything is considered and through much testing and merging a number of final outcomes are presented. 

So where do we begin? With the individual elements and tools we have in our designer treasure trove. All the components that could possibly make up a final product. Navigation, typography, illustrations, other media elements, ad blocks, forms, maps and many, many more! I'll be jumping into some of these various components in upcoming posts, so stay in touch!