UI design patterns for Rich Internet Applications

We are used to the idea of design patterns for software construction, following the great work of the gang of four – Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable object-oriented software by Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson and John M Vlissides. But what about patterns for user interface design? What about learning standard UI patterns and how to apply them well, so that you have an immediate head start when sitting down to create a compelling and usable application?

Ryan Stewart’s blog post on up-leveling the Flex User Interface Discussion links to the work of Theresa Neil, who spoke on Designing Rich Application at the DelveUI conference last week. She’s posted her slide show, which I’ve also embedded below:

I found it fascinating, and while I will never be a designer, this kind of methodical, structured approach to building a UI is one that developers can also appreciate.

She also has a matrix of essential controls showing which UI frameworks support them – page 21 above – though the slide only shows controls from A to D; the full set is described here.

While I’m on the subject, there’s also a thought-provoking post from Brandon Walkin on managing UI complexity. It seems Microsoft can still provide plenty of “how not to do it” examples.