Design principles

The design principles underpin everything we do and should be referred to for guidance throughout digital projects.

Be user-centred

We consider our users' needs before designing a digital service. Our designs enable audiences to complete their tasks across our digital channels with ease and accuracy. We validate our designs with real users' input as early as possible. We monitor user behaviour and feedback on live digital services to continuously improve the service.

Be inclusive

We build digital services for use by anyone. Our users are not limited by language, technical ability, disabilities or by the device or connection used. Our content and services comply to WCAG 2.0 accessibility standards. Being accessible is a mindset, not a checklist and requires full participation across the whole organisation.

Be contextual

The context in which our users interact online is fundamental to the success of our digital services. We modify our systems to adapt to user needs, based on specific situations, location and context of use. This helps us design and build experiences to meet the unique needs of the individual user and deliver value.

Be simple and useful

Our designs are simple and useful so that our audiences can easily access public information online. Our aim is to deliver digital services that give our users a clear understanding of the information they need.

Be consistent

By designing a consistent global experience across our digital services, we build familiarity, trust and satisfaction among our users. Our global experience framework ensures that our guidelines, patterns and vision are the foundations for all departmental digital services. Consistency across interfaces, branding and content enhances the department's legacy.

Be genuine

Our digital services are approachable, trustworthy and transparent. We design for human rather than machine interactions.

Be agile

We take a lean and agile approach to meet the changing needs of our users and the constant shift in technology. By adopting an agile methodology, we deliver early, continuously iterate and positively respond to change.

Be future friendly

Our digital services support the ever-increasing range of web-enabled devices. There is no single approach to guarantee being future friendly. We employ best practice in web standards, content strategy and use techniques such as mobile first and responsive design to better prepare for the future.

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