Skip to main content

A NSW Government website


Deliver outcomes for customers, before solutions for government

Government services should meet the needs of the people you're designing them for. Research to learn about the problems they face and to get a deeper understanding of how to deliver a better experience for them.

Doing the right research from the start often avoids the time and cost spent on building the wrong thing.

Choose the right tech and tools

Good government services are flexible services that change and adapt when needed.

Technology choices on what to build or buy is fundamental to the success of a service. Poor decisions about tools, the skillsets of people who use the tools, and the platforms that the service runs on can be costly and all prevent your ability to change course when needed.

Have people with technical expertise review and select technology and vendors and show how those choices help teams deliver in a cost-effective way.

Make it for everyone

Customer-facing and internal Government services must work for everyone who needs to use them.

Familiarise yourself with any legal requirements that advise how to make the service accessible to all.

Research and test your service with diverse user types, making sure not to exclude often underrepresented cohorts.

Build in the open

Government has a responsibility to deliver value with public money. Being transparent about how you make decisions in the design and delivery of your products and services builds trust and customer satisfaction.

Openly collaborating with others delivers value to customers by driving reuse and increasing the diversity of service providers.

Have a multidisciplinary team

Establish a team with diverse skill-sets and thinking styles to work autonomously; empower teams to make decisions for the best service outcomes.

Employ the right people at the right time so that you can deliver over multiple releases and better the chance of building and maintaining a quality service for the user.

Measure and improve, don’t spin up and drop

Define what success looks like for the customers of your service and have the people and resources you need to continuously measure and improve its performance.

Iterating a service ensures it remains useful and cost-effective until it is no longer sustainable and transitioned to retirement.

Make it safe and secure from the start

Government systems and data must be protected and trusted. You can reduce risk and the cost of things going wrong later by ensuring the safety and security of your service design from the outset.

You should plan and budget to set up for risk mitigation and continue to track and test the safety and security of your service after every release.

Look to reuse and make reusable

Minimise duplicated effort by reusing and contributing to extensively tested and proven tools, platforms, components, and patterns.

Actively sharing knowledge and transferring skills will leave things better than when you found them and deliver a reliable, consistent service for the end-user.

Plan and protect users' privacy

Government is obligated to protect the personal information it collects, holds, and provides. Not meeting these obligations damages our customers' trust in government services.

Make sure you only collect the minimum amount of information necessary to solve the problem.

Work in a flexible, iterative way

Iterating a service based on the customer’s experience of it ensures it meets their needs. Agile ways of working means everyone involved in the service focuses on getting it into customers' hands as soon as possible.

Learn from how customers use a real service to quickly make changes and address problems found. This avoids the cost and poor customer experience of a pre-determined solution that may not end up working.

Give feedback about this page


Last update:

6 July 2022

  • Added link to provide feedback option for specific page
  • Added changelog feature
Show page update history

16 May 2022

  • New Design Standards landing page published