User interface design patterns are best practices – proven solutions that solve common problems. But can you really create new and groundbreaking products by building your web application like so many others have done before you? Is it possible to spawn creativity and innovation from using design patterns when these merely represent old and used practices?

Consider a design pattern library as a toolbox to implement your ideas. A design pattern is not a product idea itself, but more a possible ingredient. Combine these well-known ingredients to create something new faster and with less risk of failing than if you invented your own new ingredients from scratch. Few innovative products come out of nothing. Instead, creativity and innovation more often grows from combining the already known in new ways.

There are many factors that will make or break your product. Some important factors are the general concept, your target audience, the business model, and the execution. The latter is the only factor that design patterns are part of. Execution is about craftsmanship – about knowing how to build a solid product granted a foundation for such a product is in place.

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Anders Toxboe Author

As the head of Digital Development at DR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation) in Copenhagen, Denmark, Anders Toxboe builds awesome websites with his teams. He also founded UI-Patterns.com and a series of other projects. Follow Anders at @uipatternscom.

1 comment

  • 29e46e03eb13e5cea3474606aa970f99

    Anders Toxboe on Mar 16, 2009

    Des: Thank you for some interesting thoughts. I really liked the slides for your talk at FOWA in Dublin. You’ll most likely see more blog posts in the future inspired of some of your thoughts.

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