We investigate the use of nanopatterned metallic films as transparent conductive electrodes in optoelectronic devices. We find that the physics of nanopatterned electrodes, which are often optically thin metallic films, differs from that of optically thick metallic films. We analyze the optical properties when performing a geometrical transformation that maintains the electrical properties. For one-dimensional patterns of metallic wires, the analysis favors tall and narrow wires. Our design principles remain valid for oblique incidence and readily carry over to two-dimensional patterns.