Design standards

The standards are for people who create – design, develop, build and support – digital services for government. Whatever your role, the standards can guide how you and your teams work day-to-day. They’re also for executives and teams to help them promote customer-focused ways of working. 

The standards outline the best practice you need to consider - whether you’re creating a new service or improving an existing one.


How to meet the standards 

There are six design standards. Follow each standard below to know the minimum practical tasks you're expected to do, why they’re relevant and how to do them. 

Create with purpose

Solve for the right thing. Focus your intent on using evidence, being strategic and setting up how you will measure success. A rigorous approach will lay the foundation for ensuring value for your customers.

Define the problem

Identify and align outcomes

Establish metrics

Design with users, for users

Focus your team on the people who use our services to adopt a user-first approach. Avoid assumptions and test for the ongoing usability of our services.

User needs and research

User experience design

Accessibility and inclusivity

Digital branding and style

Respect privacy and maintain security

Build your users' trust and confidence when they interact with you, in the way you collect and use their data.


Secure digital services

Design and manage your data needs

Be open, accountable and collaborative

Drive transparency, enable clear decision-making and authority, and work together to achieve a common goal.

Transparency  NEW



Reuse and repurpose

Reuse what you can, build on what exists, and build for others to use.

Reuse what's available

Build for reuse

Monitor, manage, evolve

Sustain and adapt the service to achieve its purpose

Developing capabilities

Monitor and improve 


Project phase checklist

View the minimum you need to do in each standard by project phase - from plan and discover, design and build to maintain and evolve.


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