How focusing on User Experience helped GOV.UK win design of the year

_By Sarah Chambers of UX Matters_

Note: This article is a reflection on why GOV.UK won website of the year in 2013.

GOV.UK is guided by 10 design principles that drive all design activities. This list is going to be borrowed from, a lot, I'm sure. They're great and apply readily and appropriately to a service-oriented organization. They're not for everyone. Remix as needed.

So why is this self-service government site so amazing? Simple: it puts the experience of the user first and makes it as easy as possible for users to find what they need quickly.

10 Design Principles of GDS

  1. Start with usersā€™ needs.
  2. Do less.
  3. Design with data.
  4. Do the hard work to make it simple.
  5. Iterate. Then iterate again.
  6. This is for everyone.
  7. Understand context.
  8. Build digital services, not Web sites.
  9. Be consistent, not uniform.
  10. Make things open ā€” it makes things better.

(Original list on GOV.UK and elaborations)

Hi-Fi Prototyping: Design is our muse, code is our medium

By Heather Daggett of UX Mag

An excellent account of why prototyping is so valuable to the design process. Below is a quote from the article and a critically important reminder about the reason we prototype.

When developers get their hands on high-fidelity prototypes, they should focus on the prototype as an expression of design intent, not as a starting point of reusable code.
ā€“ Heather Daggett

When prototyping focuses on reusable code, the emphasis on experimentation and learning is lost — and this means everyone losses.

Approach prototyping with care.


It was a busy week and I didn't get to do a whole lot of reading on the web, so.... That's it for this week!

What should I read next week? Tell me on Twitter.