How Do People Use Design Pattern Libraries? (Best Practices?)

I’m a developer working side by side with a designer. Do people have any thoughts on how best to structure a pattern library to get a consistent design across forms and content.

So, for a sample context a form input has: A label, an input, an error message, and a footnote.

Across all our forms, we want these elements to be identical so style changes smoothly flow across the whole site.

One option seems to be making a customer helper to wrap as much up into a generator as possible and as a Developer that seems nice, but from a Design side it’s much less intuitive. Another option would be to use a pre-defined pattern library like Bootstrap, but we want to keep thinks minimal and roll our own styles.

I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts of best practice in having a team build to a consistent design standard for a Ruby on Rails project?

from a front-end developer’s perspective, I think the front-end developers should focus on a style guide that fits the overall pattern. The front-end shouldn’t naturally evolve as a constraint of the specs, but should rather evolve alongside the overall specs.

I think you’re talking more about style than anything else. As far as that’s concerned… Front-end style varies as much as back-end. Some of the larger ones include BEM, OOCSS and SMACSS. You can look all of those up, but I believe that BEM is winning out—it is easier to hold in your head, and it’s easier to modularize in sass files for concatenation.

on that vein… I’d love to hear somebody from thoughtbot chime in. while there are definitely common elements in all designs (headers, flashes, footers and forms), there are things that don’t always fit into a design scope and are outside of a normal rails-generated sass file