Interview with Erin Malone, Christian Crumlish, and Lucas Pettinati on the history and role of design patterns:
An interaction design pattern is not a step-by-step recipe or a specification. It’s a set of things we’ve learned that tend to work in clearly defined situations as well as some known issues that need to be balanced or sorted out or otherwise addressed. A pattern is closer to a checklist than to a mock or a wireframe.
In addition to the ethical framing, linking back to Christopher Alexander’s “A Pattern Language” book, I particularly enjoy the distinction between pattern libraries and style guides, where the pattern library provides consistency for interaction, not appearance.