Government set to launch new design system for digital services

The gov.uk Design System will bring together all design guidelines and styles in a single place, to be used across government departments.

Government Digital Service (GDS) has unveiled the pilot version of its new design system for gov.uk.

The Cabinet Office programme, which runs the gov.uk website and helps to develop digital platforms and standards for other departments, is aiming to streamline how different government teams create digital services.

The Gov.uk Design System is a resource that will be used across government departments and will contain everything from styles and components to design patterns as part of a single resource.

In a blog post on its site, GDS says: “Some of these things can already be found in the Service Manual, Gov.uk Elements and elsewhere, but we want to bring everything together in one place and make it easy for people to find, use and contribute to.”

It adds: “By doing this, we can make it easier and quicker for teams to design and build services, and enable them to spend more time tackling bigger design challenges.”

“Working towards a single system”

GDS built an alpha version of the site in 2016, and held a “show and tell” session, where different government departments talked about their approaches to creating their own design systems.

GDS says: “It became clear from the show and tell that although different departments were working on their own systems, we were all reaching maturity at the same time and were ready to start working together.”

“We all saw the benefits of working towards a single, federated design system, where people get to develop their own patterns and contribute them back to the main collection,” it adds.

The beta version of the design system has now launched, featuring fewer categories and simplified navigation.

Once GDS is happy with the Design System it says it plans to roll it out as a public beta version, so that it be can be publicly trialed.

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