A pattern library can take variety of forms. Unlike a style guide, that focuses on marketing concerns like fonts and colors, a pattern library focuses on reusable designs that can be used in complex software and web applications. Rob was involved in the creation and curation of pattern libraries while at Blackboard and as a consultant to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The goal of any pattern library is to ensure design consistency, particularly when organizations are large and offer a variety of products and services. Pattern libraries also save resources by encouraging code/pattern reuse, freeing up resources to instead focus on products innovations. Ultimately, a pattern library helps make products more usable for customers.
Rob led the creation and curation of Blackboard’s pattern library. It consisted of component, behaviors, pages, and page flow patterns. Part of this effort led to close to a 33% reduction in clicks and page loads when the product was improved. In addition, he contributed ideas for the USPTO UI Design Library, so that it could be used as a reference across multiple product teams. The benefit is that contractors come and go, but this resource provides guidance about design consistency, which again ultimately benefits the customer.