Design-Pattern Reference Cards

The Understanding Patterns initiative is a non-profit initiative from Hostile Sheep, but requires a revenue-steam to keep our content free and high-quality. To that end, we’ll continue to make all of our cards available for free to download & will make physical Merlot series cards available free to order as long as we can keep them in stock. The rest of the series offer designers around the world the opportunity to support the Understanding Patterns initiative by buying one of our slick physical decks of design-pattern reference cards. We believe crowd-funding will keep us focused on delivering what our community wants. We don’t want to get sponsorships, we don’t want to introduce ads, and we don’t want to answer to any organization.


The Merlot Series

The Merlot series identifies some of the most important, commonly used, design patterns. This series represents a good introduction to pattern design, giving designers notes on usage and general design guidelines.

The Merlot series covers the following:
1. Navigation Patterns x4
2. Form Patterns x4
3. Typographic Patterns x4
4. Promotional Patterns x4
5. Evaluative Patterns x4

The Sky Series

The Sky series examines one of the most popular topics in digital product design: eCommerce shopping patterns. Online shopping has steadily increased in popularity over the past decade. Many retail shops are suffering from poor online shopping experiences, resulting in many retailers going out of business. These patterns will help you stay ahead of the product design curve.

The Sky series covers the following:
1. Merchandising Patterns x4
2. Checkout Patterns x4
3. Cart Patterns x4
4. Product Page Patterns x4
5. Product Review Patterns x4

The Rust Series

The Rust series was created by popular request. Many designers wanted a set of tried-tested-and-true patterns that could be memorized and broken-out for exactly the right occasion. These patterns will help you pick the most appropriate content layouts for your product, without falling into monotony.

The Rust series covers the following:
1. Content Patterns x8
2. Notification Patterns x4
3. Advertising Patterns x4
4. Compliance Patterns x4

The Gold Series

The Gold series is on the cutting-edge of design patterns. These emerging patterns are quickly becoming standard patterns. While new, many of these patterns are extremely elegant and usable. Testing should be conducted to determine if these patterns will improve the users experience.

The Gold series covers the following:
1. Emerging Navigation Patterns x4
2. Emerging Form Patterns x4
3. Emerging Payment Patterns x4
4. Emerging Search Patterns x4
5. Emerging Mobile Patterns x4

The Dark Series

Dark patterns attempt to confuse users or obfuscate important information. These patterns may result in short-term gains, but will usually result in long-term losses. It’s important to understand why these patterns negatively impact the users experience.

The Dark series covers the following:
1. Dark Navigation Patterns x4
2. Dark Shopping Patterns x4
3. Dark Advertising Patterns x4
4. Dark Contact Patterns x4
5. Dark Accessibility Patterns x4

The Mr.Green Series

The Mr.Green series dives deeply into form-design. These forms, often called online forms, ask users for input. With the rise of voice-input, auto-complete, and predictive-input, this series is bound to be one of the most valuable series from an ROI perspective.

The Mr.Green series covers the following:
1. Registration Form Patterns x4
2. Lead Generation Form Patterns x4
3. Customer Review Form Patterns x4
4. Contact Us Form Patterns x4
5. Payment Form Patterns x4

The Midnight Series

The Midnight series is all about subconscious patterns users don’t realize they rely on everyday. These patterns may not make a huge impact when present, but are often significant pain-points when not present.

The Midnight series covers the following:
1. Progressive Patterns x4
2. Addictive Patterns x4
3. Behavioural Patterns x4
4. Sensemaking Patterns x4
5. Game Patterns x4

The Earth Series

The Earth series focuses on navigation and interface design patterns. This series is especially valuable for product designers attempting to optimize a website or functional interface. Several patterns include QR codes that connect readers to additional digital content.

The Merlot series covers the following:
1. Content-Heavy Navigation Patterns x4
2. Gestural Navigation Patterns x4
3. Functional Interface Patterns x4
4. Mobile Navigation Patterns x4
5. Secondary Navigation Patterns x4

Note: This page will grow to accommodate additional series as they become available.