Government design principles


This succinct and straightforward article is a must read for anyone designing, building or developing any digital service for the public. Don’t be put off by the 2012 publication date – this isn’t about technology, it’s about how to put users at the heart of everything you do and design digital services to meet their needs rather than your own.

It is comprised of ten principles that everyone should be following:

  1. Start with user needs
  2. Do less
  3. Design with data
  4. Do the hard work to make it simple
  5. Iterate. Then iterate again
  6. This is for everyone
  7. Understand context
  8. Build digital services, not websites
  9. Be consistent, not uniform
  10. Make things open: it makes things better

You can either read the article and begin to think about how you can apply these principles to your own digital work, or if you want to explore each of the principles in more detail, they have provided links to lots of examples (articles, blog posts, presentations, case studies) of how others have applied them within government and beyond.

If you want to go deeper, they also produce a very good introduction to content design that will help you think about how to create better copy.

Published 03/04/2012
Format Web page
Creator Government Digital Service