At TBST Digital, we strive to demystify the sometimes complex, and often overlooked, aspects of website design and development. Today, let’s pull back the curtain on a fundamental concept — patterns. No, we’re not talking about the charming motifs on your grandmother’s couch. Instead, we’re referring to those crucial elements that guide user behavior, enhance functionality, and drive successful outcomes on a website.
What Exactly Is a Pattern in Web Design?
In an attempt to avoid sounding like a dictionary, let’s break down the concept of patterns in a more tangible, easy-to-understand way. Simply put, a pattern is a reusable and repeating sequence of events on a website. It’s the familiar set of interactions that help users navigate a site and achieve their goals.
Consider a button on a website. While it may seem straightforward, it’s not just a clickable object. A button, in fact, is a common web pattern with multiple states. It’s not just an object on a page, but an entity that behaves a certain way — it changes when hovered over, it reveals new information when clicked, and it directs user interaction in a predictable way.
Why Patterns Matter
Patterns are the building blocks of a seamless user experience. They represent familiar, predictable interactions, and when they are used consistently, users can navigate and interact with your website more efficiently.
Breaking these patterns, however, can disrupt the user experience, leading to confusion and potentially undermining a user’s visit. For instance, if something looks like a button and feels like it should behave like one, but it doesn’t, users might feel frustrated, disappointed, or simply unsure about how to proceed.
So, we encourage you to play detective — inspect your website for any potentially disruptive patterns, and make sure your design elements behave as users expect them to.
Persuasive Patterns: Unlocking Insight and Empathy
Beyond the basic interactive elements, there are also persuasive patterns, and these can significantly impact how users perceive your website, services, or products.
One of our favourite persuasive patterns is ‘insight’. When you share an insight that resonates with your target audience’s problem, you demonstrate understanding. This not only showcases your expertise but also helps build trust with your audience, making them more receptive to your proposed solutions.
Taking this a step further, acknowledging your audience’s feelings around these insights (a persuasive pattern of empathy) enhances connection, trust, and loyalty. As a result, whenever you’re speaking about a service or product, try to provide an insight that demonstrates your understanding, while also empathising with your audience’s challenges or desires.
Harnessing the Power of Patterns
Patterns are not just a matter of aesthetic or design choice. They’re integral to the usability and success of a website. They influence how users interact with your site, how they feel during their visit, and ultimately, whether they accomplish what they set out to do.
At TBST Digital, we’re experts in identifying, implementing, and refining patterns to optimise your digital presence. We leverage insights and empathy to create persuasive patterns that resonate with your audience and align with your business goals.
Because, at the end of the day, great web design isn’t just about looking good — it’s about providing a seamless, enjoyable user experience that gets results.