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Working with design patterns

From: Applied Interaction Design

Video: Working with design patterns

So here we are on the original Hansel and Petal website, and we've created, with a little bit of difficulty, a Custom Bouquet, and we've added it to our Cart. At least we have the indicator up here. Let's go ahead to the Cart page and make sure that everything is there. Yes, we've got our Rainbow Rose Collection, and yes, we've got our Custom Bouquet. Now, you may notice that this cart is just the minimal amount of information. Well, everything that we need is here, but it's not quite what people expect to be here.

Working with design patterns

So here we are on the original Hansel and Petal website, and we've created, with a little bit of difficulty, a Custom Bouquet, and we've added it to our Cart. At least we have the indicator up here. Let's go ahead to the Cart page and make sure that everything is there. Yes, we've got our Rainbow Rose Collection, and yes, we've got our Custom Bouquet. Now, you may notice that this cart is just the minimal amount of information. Well, everything that we need is here, but it's not quite what people expect to be here.

Remember we have mental models and prior experience things like I would like to see an image of the product that I purchased here. I'd also like maybe a little bit more information, such as what are the shipping fees, or might I pay tax? And, from this Shopping Basket page how do I go back to shopping? Is it just up to me to navigate, or can I return to the previous product, or can I edit my custom bouquet? Things like that, that may be part of people's expectations are not present.

One of the things that can help us make better design decisions are Design patterns. Design patterns are optimal solutions to recurring problems. In other words we do it the same way whenever we face the same problem, and a shopping cart is a great example of a design pattern. There are things that people expect to be there. Conventions and standards and guidelines have been written for how to make a more effective Shopping Cart. So, we could go and look at Design Patterns for what is a good shopping cart experience.

What information and functionality needs to be here. But we have to be careful when were using Design patterns, because, there are two other types that we may encounter. One of them is an Anti-pattern. These are commonly reinvented or reused patterns, but they're not optimal solutions. In fact, they may be inefficient or may even lead people to make errors. The problem with an anti-pattern is, we've just copied it from somewhere else without really thinking about whether or not it's a good solution.

So don't just copy what you see somewhere else, you need to think about, is this an appropriate solution for the problem that I am facing? And then a third type of pattern is a Dark pattern. Now these are malicious designs, and I know you're not doing dark patterns in your designs. But we encounter them as we are surfing the web, because they're designed to intentionally mislead people. And getting them to do things they wouldn't have chosen to do otherwise. So we want to avoid the dark patterns. We can reduce the probability that we include anti-patterns by really thinking critically about whether or not this is the best solution. And then we can leverage the good design patterns by finding existing solutions to problems that we are facing.

So we could make a better shopping cart by following more of these standards and conventions and design patterns for good shopping carts. Let's take a look at how we did that on the Hansel and Petal improved site. So now here we are, we've built our custom bouquet. I know I've added it to my cart because my information is right up there in the header. I see it in the little mini cart and now, I can go ahead and view the basket. Now, this is closer to what we would expect to find in a shopping basket.

And image of the product, the ability to modify my cart, I've got a Subtotal, whether or not there's sales tax. If there's shipping and handling fees, even the ability to apply a Coupon Code. This looks like a Design pattern that is for an effective shopping cart.

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Applied Interaction Design

32 video lessons · 4850 viewers

David Hogue
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