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Patterns

Patterns are solutions and researched best practices that solve recurring user interface design problems:
  • How do you build complex, multi-part web forms?
  • How do you provide navigational context?
  • How do you handle progressive disclosure?

How are they different from components?

A pattern is more than the sum of its parts. Patterns are solutions, whereas a component can be considered a UI chunk. In Formation, patterns demonstrate how design, content strategy, reusable components, and accessibility can be put together to solve common problems that all Veterans may experience on VA.gov.

Components can be considered concrete, a finite list: buttons, accordions, tables, etc. Patterns might be unique to a site or an application and may evolve with changes in technology or after competitive analysis.