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Component-based theming is becoming very popular nowadays due to several reasons. The most important ones are reusability and portability of components. Pattern Lab is a front-end framework that uses an atomic design architecture to implement the component-based design. In this article, we will discuss more about Pattern Lab and how you can improve Drupal front-end performance with it.

What is Pattern Lab?

Think of Pattern Lab is an application that can help you organize UI components in a pattern-based approach. It's a static site generator that ties all UI components together. Pattern Lab uses atomic design to speed up the process of creating modular designs. It starts very easy and gets more complex as you move up the ladder.

It's really useful for reusing repetitive elements within the same website so that the visual style maintains great consistency.

Let's analyze these building blocks:

  • Atoms: these are the most basic building blocks of your design. For example, user interface elements such as buttons, search fields, form elements, labels.
  • Molecules: These are groups of atoms that work together to perform a particular action. For example, search navigation involves a combination of atoms such as a search button, a search field, and a label.
  • Organisms: Organisms are molecules and atoms grouped to define sections of the application. They are more complex and have more interactions. For example, a header, footer or related blog post section.
  • Templates: Groups of Organisms form Templates. They are placeholders for organisms. For example, a blog page template, a login page template or a shopping cart page template.
  • Pages: when you combine a template with real content, you get a page.

Why should I use Pattern Lab?

Patten Lab makes the work of front-end developers an absolute pleasure. This is because it allows for rapid prototyping of design with a demonstrable interface and interactivity. This is useful in projects where time, price, scalability and consistency are paramount.

It allows developers to maintain code consistency, implement and leverage reusable components, and allows multiple developers to work at the same time. All of these benefits help make code maintenance easier.

In terms of Drupal, frontend developers can start their work independently without relying on Drupal development. We can work faster and with more consistency than ever before.

Pattern Lab with Drupal

Integrating Pattern Lab with Drupal has many benefits and can improve and speed up frontend development. Thanks to the Drupal community, we now have a contributed Emulsify Drupal theme that comes with the Pattern Lab architecture built-in. This reduces the additional development effort to achieve Pattern Lab integration.

There are also very good modules like UI Patterns, which I highly recommend for streamlining Drupal web development.

In short, it is a new way to organize and use templates in Drupal. A way that allows you to do more with less code and much more maintainable in the future.

Successful case

An example of this is the Creator.Support project, one of the last projects I have developed and in which I have used Pattern Lab + TailwindCss.

Creator.Support has been created in record time, with a very neat visual style and reusing the same styles in several parts of the web.

One thing I want to emphasize is that to use PatternLab you have to have a design thought for it, they have to be consistent and uniform designs. It makes no sense to use Pattern if the web design forces you to have pages and elements visually unique for each section of the web.