UK Government Design Principles

1. Start with user needs

  • Research
  • Analyze data
  • Talk to Users
  • Do NOT make assumptions

Have Empathy for users - but remember that what they ask for isn't always what they need.

2. Do Less

Make reusable and shareable system that others can use to build. Make platforms, resources that others can build upon(eg. API system). Link work of others. Concentrate on the "irreducible core".

3. Design with Data

Learn real user behavior by looking at data from existing services. Keep doing that even after the system is live - prototyping and testing with actual users. Iterate based on feedback. Have analytic build into the system and easy to use.

4. Do the work to make it simple

Invest time and effort in making complex systems simple to use.

5. Multiple Iterations

  • start small and iterate wildly
  • Release MVP and test with real users.
  • Delete things that don't work
  • If prototype is not working, feel free to start over

6. Build for Everyone

  • Accessible design
  • Inclusive, Legible and readable
  • Sacrifice elegance if you have to

"The people who most need our services are often the people who find them hardest to use."

7. Understand context

  • You are not designing for a screen, You are designing for people
  • Think about the context in which the users use your system(Library? They never used web before? Only knows Facebook?)

8. Build digital services, not websites

Uncover user needs, and build the service that meets those needs

9. Be consistent, not uniform

Use same language and the same design patterns wherever possible. This helps people get familiar with the services.

10. Make things open

Share code, share designs, share ideas, share intentions, share failures. The more eyes there are on something, the better it gets - problems are spotted, better alternatives are shown, the bar is raised.