Government Digital Service launches toolkit for digital service design

Written by Rebecca Hill on 20 January 2017 in News

The UK Government’s digital service has created a single site for digital design resources

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has launched a toolkit that aims to be a one-stop shop for digital service design resources.

The service toolkit is a single page on GOV.UK that provides links to all the resources GDS thinks a government digital service designer will need.

These include the GDS design principles and patterns, frontend code and style guide, as well as components like Notify, Verify and registers, which are open data sets that services can use.

There is also links to the standards that UK Government services should meet, comprising the digital service standard, Technology Code of Practice and recently updated service manual.


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In addition, designers can access the GDS performance platform, which allows designers to monitor their service, and the UK Government’s online procurement platform, the Digital Marketplace.

In a blog post about the toolkit, GDS said that these resources had been chosen through user research that identified the high-level needs of people who design government digital services.

These were that people need to find up-to-date guidance quickly and easily, ensure their work is consistent with other public services and easily find out the best way to solve a problem, which in practice means avoiding duplicating someone else’s work.

“There are resources available that can help with this,” said senior product manager Alexandre Liaume. “But that won't help unless service teams know about them.”

However, he added, the service toolkit will only be useful if people know that it’s there, noting that most people will go directly to the tool or component they need.

“As much as possible we’re linking back from these resources to the service toolkit,” Liaume said, adding that it will also be a “fundamental part” of all UK Government digital training in the future.

Meanwhile, GDS is also developing new product pages to give people a “consistent experience” across all products – a process that has started with Notify but will be rolled out across all the resources.

Liaume also said that resources that follow Government as a Platform principles but are not made by GDS would be added to the toolkit over time, and that the team was developing ways for individual to contribute resources.

Any resources added in this way will go through “a rigorous assurance process”.

GDS is seeking further feedback on the toolkit, which will be iterated based on those comments, for instance on whether people understood the purpose of the page and how they could use it.

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