I think we often focus on designing or building an element, without researching the other elements it should connect to—without understanding the system it lives in.
You know how donating blood is a really good thing to do? Well, now you also donate your voice.
Once again, we can learn from Christoper Alexander’s A Pattern Language when it comes to create digital design systems, especially this part (which reminds me of one of the panes you can view in Fractal’s default interface):
- Each pattern’s documentation is preceded with a list of other patterns that employ the upcoming pattern
- Each pattern’s documentation is followed by a list of other patterns that are required for this pattern
Some great thoughts in here about web development workflow and communication between designers and developers.
I believe that the solution is made up of a variety of tools that encourage conversation and improve our shared lexicon. Tools such as styleguides, pattern libraries, elemental and modular systems that encourage access not only by developers, but by designers, shareholders and editors as well.
microformatique - a blog about microformats and “data at the edges” : Semantics in HTML Part III - Towards a semantic web
John Allsopp has posted the third and final part of his superb series, Semantics in HTML. Read them all.
He's right, y'know.