What are design patterns

Design patterns are common themes in the way something is designed. In looking over the many API doc sites, I tried to find some common design patterns in the way the content was published. I already mentioned the division between guides, tutorials, and reference documentation. Here I want to explore more design-specific elements in API doc sites.

Earth patterns, Venefice. Flickr

Several design patterns with API docs

Here are several design patterns with API doc sites:

  • Structure and templates
  • Website platform
  • Abundant code examples
  • Longish pages
  • Interactive API explorers

I’ll explore each of these elements in depth in upcoming pages.

Some non-patterns

Here are some non-patterns. By this, I mean these are elements that aren’t as common in API doc sites:

  • PDF output
  • Mobile display
  • Comments on pages
  • Video tutorials

By non-patterns, it’s not to say these elements aren’t a good idea. But generally they aren’t emphasized in many of the API doc sites.


Get new posts delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscriber count: 3,505