Sometimes it's difficult to strike the perfect balance between designing for optimal usability and creating reusable patterns that support that usability.
Why reusable patterns are great
Reusable patterns are an excellent way to save time and money. By building your design with the intent of reusing it, you can ensure that each new page or module has all of the elements it needs for consistent design. This will also help your team work more efficiently because they won't have to reinvent the wheel every time they build a new screen.
When reusable patterns miss the mark
If you overuse reusable patterns, or if they're too rigidly applied, users will struggle to find the information that they need because everything looks the same. It becomes harder for a user to distinguish the different 'jobs'. This makes it harder to remember the different kind of interactions en learn how to use the application.
A few guidelines for balancing usability and reusable patterns
- If you're going to use a reusable pattern, make sure it fits the context and is appropriate for the user
- Make sure the different types of interactions are easy to distinguish for the user.
- Make sure the patterns are consistent with your brand. And sometimes this means that being distinctive is more important than being consistent.
Reusable patterns can be a great way to save time and effort in your design/development process, but they need to be balanced with the unique needs of the user. It's important not to use them too rigidly. Consistency is not a goal.