I was curious about GUI design patterns, so I searched and got some information, including a list of UI patterns for the web. This UI patterns website says that:

UI Patterns is a growing collection of User Interface Design Principles and User Interface Usability Patterns present on web applications and sites today.

Are there any other design patterns for constructing websites or other user interfaces? Are there any books that describe these patterns? I'm particularly interested in patterns for Windows desktop development and web development in the .NET platform.

  • 1
    Please ask one question at a time. However, this question isn't a good fit for Stack Exchange. Please read the FAQ for guidance on what makes a good question. Your questions are overly broad and inviting discussion.
    – ChrisF
    Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 12:26
  • I have updated.. removed the wireframe question.. now it is regarding GUI Design pattern only.. i am looking for answer for GUI Design patterns only.. nothing much Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 12:31
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    You are still asking three questions in one. Break it down further. Ask one question at a time, but please think are your questions constructive and being asked on the right site? Other sites - e.g. ux.stackexchange.com - may be more suitable for some of your questions.
    – ChrisF
    Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 12:33
  • For example, there are a ton of questions there asking for book recommendations: the major references (like the oft-cited Don't Make Me Think) have already been provided there.
    – user8
    Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 15:20

4 Answers 4


There are a number of patterns and rules that correspond to usability principles. They aren't as concrete as other patterns, since there is variation in the user interface, think web applications versus desktop applications versus mobile devices versus kiosks, each with their own quirks. Users expect different things from different devices, so part of usability is matching user's mental models and expectations.

A few examples of usability rules include the 80/20 rule, Fitts' Law, Hick's Law, and the Rule of Thirds. There are also techniques, such as applying the Golden Ratio, form following function, and monitoring the singal-to-noise ratio, that can be used to enhance user interfaces. There are plenty more - that's just what I can remember off the top of my head from my software usability course.

For books, I would recommend Universal Principles of Design. It discusses a number of usability and user interface concepts that are abstract enough for any application, either desktop or web. Donald Norman's The Design of Everyday Things is also a classic text in interface design, although the focus is on physical objects and not computer-human interfaces.

These should be coupled with the user interface design guidelines for the target platform, if there is one.

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    Nice listing of the basic rules. Many other rules and patterns are 1:1 derivations of industrial design, graphic art, and typography. The OP may fancy taking a detour, here and there, in those disciplines, sooner or later, in search for inspiration. (it's what the guys that write usability books actually do, other than straight UI testing)
    – ZJR
    Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 14:19
  • @ThomasOwens What about the classic; Don't Make Me Think? amazon.com/Dont-Make-Me-Think-Usability/dp/0321344758 Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 14:51
  • @Aaron I wouldn't call Don't Make Me Think a classic - it's less than 11 years old. From what I've read, it's also focused on web development, rather than general usability principles. Also, I've never read it. Universal Principles of Design and The Design of Everyday Things were recommended reading for my software usability course, and I own and have read both.
    – Thomas Owens
    Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 14:58

Is there any Design patterns for constructing Website/Software GUI or not?


Any book available for GUI Design patterns/ User Interface ??

I can personally recommend Don't Make Me Think, which has some great insights into web pages design. However, there are numerous other good books out there: This closed StackOverflow question has a lot of good examples.

  • +1 ...for Don't Make Me Think Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 14:52
  • As often, the closed ones are the most interesting (if not even most helpful sometimes).
    – mlvljr
    Commented Jul 29, 2012 at 14:47

There are a couple of UI / UX design pattern libraries on the web:

  • Quince, by Infragistics, has a large catalog of design patterns for both the desktop and the web.
  • The Yahoo! Design Pattern Library is smaller and appears to not be actively maintained. Unlike Quince, it includes a section on social patterns.

My personal favorite link for design patterns is http://www.welie.com/patterns/. Not only does it have a large list of patterns, but (more importantly) it discusses what usability problems the pattern solves (instead of just showing you a screen shot, which .. is terrible).

(This might not be a fully fledged answer, but I don't have enough clout on this stack exchange at the moment to leave comments, so oh well.)

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