Postcard Patterns: An Agile UI Pattern Creation Process

Traditionally, creating and maintaining a pattern library has been a daunting task requiring extensive resources and, sometimes, dedicated full-time employees. At Salesforce.com our first attempt at producing a comprehensive library was bogged down by a waterfall-based creation and review process that yielded only two patterns in a six-month period. At this rate we would never approach completion.

In keeping with our development team’s agile transformation we revisited the process and invented Postcard Patterns – highly visual, single-page documents that allow design teams to efficiently and effectively drive consensus across teams with a lean, easy to maintain, and easy to produce communication tool. In contrast to our previous pace (2 patterns in 6 months), we have recently produced 43+ patterns in less than 3 months.

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