May 6, 2005
Yahoo! on Design Patterns
There’s a really great new article at Boxes and Arrows, Implementing a Pattern Library in the Real World: A Yahoo! Case Study. It details how the user experience team at Yahoo! went about creating a reference library of design patterns. The case study provides more than enough depth as well as illustrations and examples to give others a solid path to follow in implementing a similar repository.
What I found particularly interesting is that Yahoo! maintains their interaction patterns separately from the best practices of visual design and coding. I can easily see another organization going down the wrong path with this and over-integrating the three areas. The article gives plenty of justification for Yahoo!’s approach, and I would agree with their solution.
The rating system that they developed is also insightful. Rather than a straightforward Likert-type scale they created a decision tree leading to the assigned rating. The resulting ranking levels are much more informative.