Designers are big problem solvers. We hunt down solutions to make a layout not only eye-catching, but also functional for a viewer or user. When designing for the web, we often come across common usability problems, such as deciding on what navigational format will work best, button style, background type, etc. For insight and help solving these problems, we can look at design patterns—general solutions solving common and reoccurring problems of interface design.
Of course, there are always various ways to approach these problems, and designers before us have explored multiple solutions to resolve them. Reusing these functional patterns can help avoid unwanted issues with the usability of our designs and give us awareness of best practices, inspiration, and real-world examples of how people are solving these issues. This way, we can design the best solution for our project needs. There are a variety of websites out there offering great pattern libraries with examples from everything from sign-in box style to table design. I definitely would suggest giving these sites a look, especially if you want to see a large variety of a single web element without racing around the web to see examples of how something is used. Below is a list of my fav’s along with a few new finds. Enjoy!