Personal Pattern Books

May 27th, 2011

A few weeks ago, I started a personal pattern project which I’m finding useful and thought to share as a potential design activity. After grabbing a blank notebook, I basically began sketching out and writing down various examples of interesting interactions I find all over the web. The idea isn’t completely new as design and interface patterns have been around us for quite a while now. In fact, some really awesome collections have sprung up that are great for designing interactions and interfaces. If you’re seeking inspiration from these publicly available pattern libraries some existing resources include:

  1. UI Patterns
  2. Pattern Tap
  3. Patternry
  4. Little Big Details
  5. Designing Web Interfaces: Principles and Patterns for Rich Interactions (Book)
  6. – Patterns in Interaction Design
  8. Quince

By personalizing these patterns however, there could be a few added benefits beyond just observing other people’s work passively. For one, I’m beginning to notice that after drawing out some selected examples it becomes easier to internalize and remember them later on in the future. When working on projects, these sketched patterns tend to emerge from memory more vividly than ones that were just seen somewhere. Secondly, when recording these patterns personally it is also possible to gain another chance at practising and evolving your own personal sketching style. Patterns are a great source of more complex user-interface interactions which may push the boundaries of your visual communication and sketching abilities.

There is no set standard on how to record them. Some things which I thought might be useful to include were elements such as: a title, a few screens (tied together with user actions), a simple description, a date, and an example URL. But really, these being personal, it’s all up to you to come up with your own style. So go ahead and grab that fresh notebook …

Credits: Jakub Linowski

8 Responses to “Personal Pattern Books”

  1. Austin Govella Says:

    Some day, all interaction designers will carry self-made books of patterns they learn and encounter while in school and apprenticing. It will be awesome.

  2. Nick P Says:

    Nice article Jakub. Care to share pages out of your pattern book?

  3. Jakub Linowski Says:

    So far I just posted one. Did you click on the image in the post?. Maybe I should of shared more? :)

  4. David Nind Says:

    Another excellent resource on web design patterns is

  5. Hayley Says:

    I like this, I think I will give it a go.

    Maybe I'm over thinking it but…do you index your patterns or anything so you can find them again without having to flick through the whole thing?

  6. Jakub Linowski Says:

    Hey Hayley. Still haven't indexed anything. Maybe just because right now I've only recorded 5 of them. Could be a good idea down the road perhaps.

  7. Roland Studer Says:

    I love the idea!

    Often I think, I should look up pattern, but what I find online is never quite what I'm looking for, often interaction patterns are quite general when I need more specific things.

    I'm starting one using a notebook system that allows me to reorder the pages, so I'll be able to group patterns (

  8. gilbarros Says:

    Like Villard de Honnecourt's notebook (XIV century, I'd love to see that too ;-)