In software engineering, a design pattern is a general repeatable solution to a commonly occurring problem in software design. A design pattern isn't a finished design that can be transformed directly into code. It is a description or template for how to solve a problem that can be used in many different situations.
Design patterns can speed up the development process by providing tested, proven development paradigms. Effective software design requires considering issues that may not become visible until later in the implementation. Reusing design patterns helps to prevent subtle issues that can cause major problems and improves code readability for coders and architects familiar with the patterns.
Often, people only understand how to apply certain software design techniques to certain problems. These techniques are difficult to apply to a broader range of problems. Design patterns provide general solutions, documented in a format that doesn't require specifics tied to a particular problem.
In addition, patterns allow developers to communicate using well-known, well understood names for software interactions. Common design patterns can be improved over time, making them more robust than ad-hoc designs.
Due to the decentralized nature of the web, interface design has also been popularized. The need for a new and often less-technical audience to engage with interface issues has given rise to the alternative term ‘design pattern’. The Yahoo Developer Network defines a [design] pattern as: …an optimal solution to a common problem within a specific context.
Design patterns represent the best practices used by experienced object-oriented software developers. Design patterns are solutions to general problems that software developers faced during software development. These solutions were obtained by trial and error by numerous software developers over quite a substantial period of time.
Design patterns provide a standard terminology and are specific to particular scenario. For example, a singleton design pattern signifies use of single object so all developers familiar with single design pattern will make use of single object and they can tell each other that program is following a singleton pattern.
Design patterns have been evolved over a long period of time and they provide best solutions to certain problems faced during software development. Learning these patterns helps inexperienced developers to learn software design in an easy and faster way.