Mastering Design Patterns: Behavioral Design Patterns

  1. Mastering Design Patterns: An Introduction
  2. Mastering Design Patterns: Creational Design Patterns
  3. Mastering Design Patterns: Structural Design Patterns
  4. Mastering Design Patterns: Behavioral Design Patterns
  5. Mastering Design Patterns: Design Patterns in Object-Oriented Programming
  6. Mastering Design Patterns: Real-World Examples
  7. Mastering Design Patterns: Design Patterns in Software Architecture
  8. Anti-Patterns and Common Pitfalls
  9. Design Patterns in Modern Software Development
  10. Design Patterns for Code Reusability and Maintainability

Welcome to the fourth installment of our series on “Mastering Design Patterns.” In this article, we’ll embark on a deep dive into the world of Behavioral Design Patterns. These patterns play a pivotal role in shaping how objects interact and communicate with each other, enhancing the flexibility and maintainability of software systems. We will explore seven fundamental behavioral design patterns, each offering unique solutions to common software design challenges:

1. Observer Pattern
2. Strategy Pattern
3. Command Pattern
4. State Pattern
5. Chain of Responsibility Pattern
6. Visitor Pattern
7. Template Method Pattern

Throughout this journey, we’ll provide real-life examples and code snippets to illustrate how these patterns are applied in practice.

Observer Pattern

Definition: The Observer Pattern defines a one-to-many dependency between objects, ensuring that when one object changes state, all its dependents are notified and updated automatically.

Real-Life Example: News Subscription

Imagine an online news platform where users subscribe to various news categories like sports, technology, and politics. The observer pattern allows users (observers) to receive notifications and updates when new articles (events) are published in their subscribed categories.

Strategy Pattern

Definition: The Strategy Pattern defines a family of algorithms, encapsulates each one, and makes them interchangeable. It allows the algorithm to vary independently from clients that use it.

Real-Life Example: Payment Processing

In an e-commerce application, payment processing can vary based on factors like payment gateway, currency, or discounts. The strategy pattern lets you encapsulate payment algorithms, making it easy to switch between different payment methods while keeping the client code unchanged.

Command Pattern

Definition: The Command Pattern encapsulates a request as an object, allowing parameterization of clients with queues, requests, and operations.

Real-Life Example: Remote Control

Think of a remote control with programmable buttons for controlling various home devices. The command pattern allows you to encapsulate commands like “turn on the TV” or “dim the lights” as objects, enabling you to create macro commands and manage queues of actions.

State Pattern

Definition: The State Pattern allows an object to alter its behavior when its internal state changes. The object appears to change its class.

Real-Life Example: Document Editing

In a document editing application, the state pattern can be applied to manage the behavior of the document based on its current mode, such as read-only, edit, or review. The document’s behavior changes dynamically as its state transitions.

Chain of Responsibility Pattern

Definition: The Chain of Responsibility Pattern passes a request along a chain of handlers, with each handler deciding whether to process the request or pass it to the next handler.

Real-Life Example: Approval Workflow

Consider an approval workflow where documents go through multiple levels of review and approval. The chain of responsibility pattern allows you to model each approval level as a handler, ensuring efficient document routing and processing.

Visitor Pattern

Definition: The Visitor Pattern represents an operation performed on the elements of an object structure. It allows you to define new operations without changing the classes of the elements being operated on.

Real-Life Example: Document Export

Imagine a document processing application where you need to export documents to various formats like PDF, Word, and HTML. The visitor pattern enables you to define export operations as visitors that can traverse the document structure and generate output in different formats.

Template Method Pattern

Definition: The Template Method Pattern defines the skeleton of an algorithm in the superclass but lets subclasses override specific steps of the algorithm without changing its structure.

Real-Life Example: Game Development

In game development, different characters may share common behaviors like movement or combat, but each character has unique attributes. The template method pattern allows you to define a common structure for these behaviors in a superclass while allowing subclasses to customize specific actions.


In this comprehensive exploration of Behavioral Design Patterns, we’ve unveiled seven essential patterns that empower software developers to create flexible, maintainable, and extensible software systems. The Observer Pattern facilitates efficient communication between objects. The Strategy Pattern allows for the interchangeability of algorithms. The Command Pattern encapsulates requests as objects, providing flexibility and queuing capabilities. The State Pattern manages an object’s behavior based on internal states. The Chain of Responsibility Pattern simplifies the handling of requests through a chain of handlers. The Visitor Pattern facilitates operations on elements without altering their classes. Finally, the Template Method Pattern defines the structure of an algorithm while enabling subclasses to customize specific steps.

As we continue our journey through the world of design patterns, we’ll explore Creational and Structural Design Patterns in our next articles, completing our comprehensive understanding of design patterns in software engineering. Stay tuned for more insights, practical examples, and a deeper dive into the art of software design.