UI Visual Design Patterns

User Interface design is not all about graphic design but is about presenting the user with the right tools to accomplish their goals. Therefore it is important to balance aesthetics with usability and ensure that UI is used to heighten UX. This is where design patterns come in, design patterns provide design solutions for effective layout design and can increase usability within a design.

What are design patterns?

Design patterns are common design solutions that are used throughout a variety of interfaces, they are quite common to users and due to this they intuitively know how to navigate an interface.

Examples of design patterns


Tabs are an example of skeuomorphism (The design of something that represents something in the real world e.g tabs represent physical tabs used in physical filing systems). Through the use of skeuomorphism and the mass use of tabs across most interfaces this design pattern allows users to navigate with ease and without confusion therefore aiding to a successful interface design.



[Launchmind tabs example]. (n.d.). Retrieved May 8, 2017, from http://inspirationti.me/websites/tabs


Menus are another example of visual design patterns, they are used to organise information and present information clearly to the user. Dropdown menus can be used to create hierarchal organisation whilst drawer menus save space and can be used to create clean and simple designs. Hamburger menus are most commonly used in app design or responsive design for tablets and phones, they save space and declutter the interface for the user.

Search bars

Search bars are a nice feature to include in a header or a nav bar as they allow users to search what they are looking for without navigating their way all through the interface. Search bars with dropdown options are useful shortcuts, they shorten the users path and saves the user time therefore creating a better user experience.

Big Footer

Another design pattern that creates shortcuts for the user are big footers, this pattern is used quite commonly throughout interfaces and is used to hold links to important pages, therefore can shorten the users path to their destination.


Carousels are quite common when a user needs to browse through lots of options. Carousels can be seen on portfolio websites and are also quite common on online stores to create look books or advertise multiple products at once.



Disney Carousel [Digital image]. (2014, September 12). Retrieved May 8, 2017, from https://www.imarc.com/blog/content-carousels-2014

Most important idea from this pod

User design patterns are good solutions for design problems due to the fact that they are proven to work and the users can intuitively navigate the interface when patterns are used.



User Scenarios

Lecture pod 6 explores user scenarios and their contribution to the overall success of a project. User scenarios are used in conjunction with personas as explored in lecture pod 5 to completely understand the user’s therefore the design can be tailored to an audience and purpose specifically.

What is a user scenario?

User scenarios are simply scenarios that a designer places their user in, a scenario is a narrative or situation. User scenarios are stories created to achieve a goal, e.g. Dave wants to know why his toaster is working properly so he navigates to the troubleshooting page on ‘how to make toast.com’. User scenarios can include goals, expectations, motivations actions and reactions essentially they need to be a story around use.

Why are user scenarios important?

User scenarios are important as they drive the design of a project e.g If Dave is looking for the troubleshooting page on ‘how to make toast.com’ it should be easy to navigate to on the website and therefore the designer should come up with a design solution to help Dave achieve his goal with ease. With the use of multiple user scenarios a design can be created to include UX for the masses, this will ensure that everyone who reaches a website or an app that has been designed with many users in mind will successfully complete their goals and have a seamless and enjoyable experience.

Most important idea from this pod

It is very important to create user scenarios as they drive the design of the interface and the use of these scenarios is critical to the success of an interface design.