Developing a UI Design PatternLibrary

Designing good user interfaces is difficult, and thus software development organizations need effective and usable design tools to support design work. In this thesis a tool, a user interface design pattern library which captures knowledge of good UI design and shares it effectively in reusable format to the development organization, was developed for a Finnish middle-sized IT organization called eCraft.

The Theoretical part of this research starts with presenting different kinds of design languages on the domain, where two main concepts are identified; usability guidelines are UI design patterns. The different characteristics of these concepts are introduced, and their strengths are weaknesses are being discussed. The primary conclusion of this research is that UI patterns is the best concept to document design solutions. The, the current way to design and develop user interfaces at the case company is analyzed in the empirical part. The study showed that problems in the UI design exist, and usability is not really taken into account in daily development work. However, the company employees were willing to develop their UI skills, but they didn’t know how.

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