Exactly 40 years ago, Christopher Alexander’s book A Pattern Language kicked off the whole idea of design patterns. Erin Malone steps back to show how just how far we’ve come. Her timeline traces the path to modern design systems and style guides. (Fun to see my pal and collaborator Brad Frost given such a prominent place in the recent history of all this.)
It’s important to not forget about the explorations and experiments and hard work that many people did (in their companies and on their own time) to share their knowledge and to advance the conversations and the practice of user experience design. Without this work, no one today would be so easily accepting of the need for a robust style guide that contains interactions and code. Today we wonder how you could work (particularly in the enterprise with hundreds of scattered designers) without one.