NSW government sets a new standard in digital public service design

By Stephen Easton

Tuesday December 18, 2018

The New South Wales government has unveiled a new Digital Design System today, to encourage more consistency between different online services, websites, apps and registration processes.

The aim was to create “a living, breathing repository of a standard, guides and reusable components to help teams across government deliver consistent and cohesive digital services” for the public and inside government.

The result is now live, based around a foundational Digital Design Standard with six key principles and short explanations of how public servants should apply them.

  • Create with purpose
  • Design with users, for users
  • Reuse and repurpose
  • Continuously improve
  • Respect privacy and maintain security
  • Be open, accountable and collaborative.

There are also better practice guides — the first couple are on how to build a team for service design and delivery projects, and how to “lead an agile culture” — along with a library for reusable components which starts off with two examples but will soon include many more.

Image: Digital NSW Twitter account.

A section on accessibility has extensive information and explains the general idea of universal design — making things accessible to people with disabilities in ways that can also make life easier for others such as speakers of languages other than English or people with low literacy. The NSW digital team suggests more accessible content is welcome to people using mobile devices, “time-poor users who just need an answer to their question” and those struggling on poor internet connections.

The final section is the obligatory roadmap setting out the plan to the end of the 2018-19 financial year.

Top image: NSW executive director of digital government Pia Andrews, from the Digital NSW Twitter account.

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