GDS Design Principles and “Digital Services”

Posted by Mike Brittain on May 02, 2013
Mobile, WWW

The UK Government Digital Services has published their Design Principles last summer. It’s a great read. And if you’ve already read it, it’s still a great resource to reflect on. These are principles that would resonate with most of the technical teams I’ve worked on over the past years, though they often fail to appear in the products that are created.

Two principles stand out:

1. Start with (user) needs

8. Build digital services, not websites

The products we build need to solve real needs, rather than expose the organizational concerns or bureaucracies. This is more intuitive for new product start-ups, and less so for legacy institutions who are trying to increase their online presence.

And the products we build need to make sense within the current digital landscape—which is to say, outside (complementary?) services and the wide variety of devices in use by consumers of these services. Form factors—both existing and emerging—and usage context play roles in how we design products.

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