Design trends are very much like fashion; they’re transient in character and often cyclical in their appeal. The popularity of gradients, for example, are like bell-bottom jeans, rising, falling, and then rising again in popularity.
Conversely, [design patterns] are the standards which emerge in interaction and visual design through repeated use. With a design pattern, a standard way of solving an interaction problem is stated and followed for the sake of predictability even if sometimes, it is not the absolute optimal design paradigm for the problem at hand.
When do we choose to follow a design trend versus a design pattern? Following a trend seems to be very short sighted in design whilst following design patterns can be restrictive and to many, stifling in creativity. Each also have their own benefits. So once again, [it depends].
:http://www.welie.com/index.html “Interaction Design Patterns”
:http://www.ok-cancel.com/comic/99.html “It Depends”