Often times i'm looking for the name of a design pattern / design element and I don't know the name of it. I've tried looking at Libraries and Design Guidelines but I am often times unable to find anything, especially if it is very specific.

To clarify: I'm not looking for the name of a specific element but for an approach or method to find names of elements, that I am not familiar with.


2 Answers 2


Like most finding experiences, there are three main approaches:

1. Browse. General education on patterns is really helpful. As time allows, try to visit different enterprise design systems and learn the concepts before you need to really know them. Then you'll be able to recall different patterns and look them up later. You might not remember that a filter chip is called a "filter chip", but if you read about all of Material Design's chips, you'll remember that it exists, and you can get back to the Chips page and look up the name when you're having a conversation about it. Some robust, browsable design systems in addition to Material are Spectrum, Polaris, and Carbon.

2. Search. If you don't know the words, use Google Images and try to describe what you're seeing to the best of your ability. Adding "UX" to the end of a search query tends to produce more relevant results for UI designs. Dribbble is also an excellent place to search for patterns, especially larger patterns like patient schedule or loan calculator. If you're looking for interactions like "collapsible navigation", YouTube is a great search engine.

3. Chat. Ask us! We get asked these questions all the time, and they're on topic. You could also ask ChatGPT, though it's still learning.

Bonus approach: If you're technical, you can put your browser in inspection mode and inspect the element you're wondering about. What did the developers name the classes that are being used? Could those be search terms that you use when looking for the pattern?


I tend to start by searching for something like

"UX pattern for [whatever I am trying to do]" 

and seeing what comes up... that usually gives me some breadcrumbs to follow, including blogs and articles that will disclose more specific or accepted terms I can use to further refine my search.

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