Pattern Library

What is a pattern?

A pattern is a reusable, functional, html-based component.

Each pattern is packaged with:

Pattern Folder Contents

see: What makes up a pattern?

What is a pattern library?

A NodeJS storage-and-sharing solution for your functioning UX patterns.

Each pattern library:

√ Organizes your patterns

Pattern Storage

√ Publishes your work online to GitHub Pages

GitHub Pages

√ Includes tools for designing in browser

Pattern Lab

GitHub Repositories

Pattern Libraray Generator

Scaffolds a new pattern library

Pattern Library

A complete pattern library containing base html elements for styling

Pattern Library Utilities

How to create a pattern library

  1. Install the pattern library generator

    npm install -g generator-pattern-library

  2. Run the generator in an empty repository

    yo pattern-library

    a. Ccaffolds out the pattern library structure
    b. Installs NPM dependencies
    c. Scaffolds out a global assets directory

  3. Install Pattern Lab for prototyping

    gulp build

    a. Installs Pattern Lab using composer
    b. Copies patterns and javascript into Pattern Lab ./source
    c. Copies global assets into Pattern Lab

  4. Serve files and begin development

    gulp serve

    a. Creates <script> tags for javascript files
    b. Creates @import statements for scss files
    c. Compiles scss
    d. Triggers a PHP Pattern Lab build
    e. Uses browsersync to create a server for Pattern Lab
    f. Maintains a watch on files
    g. Refreshes browser on file changes

List of Gulp tasks

note: You can always type gulp help to see a list of available gulp tasks.

Notable tasks:

Parts of a Pattern

Contents and Directory Structure

These are the files which may be in a single HTML pattern’s directory. This imaginary pattern is called example-pattern.

The only required files are pattern.yml and a pattern file (in any templating language or plain html.)

Pattern YAML File

pattern.yml, required

Each single pattern folder must contain a pattern.yml file.

This file contains paths to find supporting files, meta data, and dummy data to populate the pattern for testing purposes.

This example is from the Figure Image pattern, which is included in the base pattern library.

name: Figure Image
description: A `figure` element with `figcaption` and an included `img` element from /atoms/images/img/img.twig.
twig: figure-image.twig
category: molecules
subcategory: media
      alt: Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa.
      class: figure__image
      text: Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cumo sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus.
    class: base__figure-image

Template File

example-pattern.twig, required

Each pattern folder must contain a [pattern-name].[template-lang] (example-pattern.twig) file. These files should not contain actual text, data, images, etc. Instead, patterns use curly-braces as data placeholders. Even if they are .html files.

Other Optional Included Files

Should include usage examples


A pattern’s javascript file. Include in pattern.yml like this:

script: example-pattern.js

Can optionally be an array:

  - example-pattern.js
  - example-pattern-file2.js  


A CSS file. Include in pattern.yml like this:

css: example-pattern.css


A SASS file. NOTE: do not prefix this file with an underscore or it will be ignored when import-conversion happens. Include in pattern.yml like this:

sass: example-pattern.scss

Can optionally be an array:

  - example-pattern.scss
  - example-pattern-file2.scss