This post is part of a series of User Experience (UX) topics on the Dell Cloud Blog. The first post was UX Culture at Dell Cloud Manager. Watch for more posts about our research techniques, lean methodologies, and other UX-related topics in the coming weeks.
At Dell Cloud Manager, we’ve created and implemented a UI pattern library as a resource for both our user experience design (UX) and development teams. Before the pattern library, designs ended up having to be recreated every time, which could result in inconsistencies and misinterpretations. We now have a tool that helps us document decisions, reduce design and development time, and maintain consistency across the product.
A pattern library is a common set of specifications and guidelines. It’s a set of documented decisions that were developed over the course of many product enhancements, feature launches, and user tests. For example, our library consists of entries that describe the treatment of:
UI elements such as buttons and dropdowns
Page elements such as grids and modals
Text formatting for warning and error messages
Interactions between elements
For each entry, we have documented how the item is used, when it is used, notes on accessibility, and the standard code that is used for existing use cases.
Reducing design and development time
The library lives in a centralized location where members from multiple teams can add, view, or edit patterns that will be used in Dell Cloud Manager. This allows members of the UX team to create detailed specifications that are then available to front-end developers. This sharing of elements for re-use greatly reduces design and development time.
The pattern library gives UX designers and UI developers a quick reference to documented UX patterns.
Whenever something relating to a pattern needs to be updated, the dynamic nature of the pattern library allows every documented pattern’s code and interactive model to update automatically.
Through the creation of the pattern library, we were able to reduce design and development time and improve the consistency of Dell Cloud Manager. The implementation of common elements throughout the UI makes Dell Cloud Manager easy to navigate and use.
The Dell Cloud Manager User Experience Team welcomes your feedback and suggestions! If you’d like to join our research panel and contribute your voice to the development of Dell Cloud Manager, please visit: http://www.enstratius.com/support/usability.