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Principles for designing and creating GOV.WALES products.

First published:
4 December 2019
Last updated:

Make it about the user

To build the right thing, you need to understand your users and their needs. Research, analyse and chat to users. You need to get into their heads and uncover their behaviour. This is not about what you want or like.

Make it only what's needed

Don’t do things just because you can. If we’ve got a way of doing something already we should reuse it in other places. If we already have an appropriate channel, we should use that.

Make it with evidence

Don’t base your solution on speculation and guesses. Look at how existing products are used. Look at how people use what you’ve built throughout the design and build process and after launch. Keep prototyping and testing with users. Make learning from analytics an essential part of what you do.

Make it simple to use

Make your product as easy to use as possible. Don’t include features that will not provide a clear benefit to users. Make things simple and hide complexity. Don’t stick with things that don’t work.

Make it better over time

Start small and iterate quickly. Produce minimum viable products to build momentum. This allows people to see things early, gather feedback and make improvements. If something isn’t working, think again.

Make it accessible to all

GOV.WALES products are for everyone. We must be as inclusive as possible. Don’t aim for flashy features at the expense of individuals. If you have to compromise on something to make it accessible to everyone, then do that. Do not think of people’s needs as obstacles to your product. Design for everyone from day one.

Make it fit people's lives

Don’t design your product in isolation. We’re designing for people in the place they access your products. Think about where they are, the devices they will be using and the context of their journey to and from the product. Think about how your product fits into people’s wider experience.

Make it part of GOV.WALES

GOV.WALES is made of many connected products. Think about how your product fits into the real world and the rest of GOV.WALES. There may be more appropriate places where you can meet a user need. Help users by providing links to other relevant parts of GOV.WALES.

Make it with GOV.WALES design patterns

Use consistent and approved GOV.WALES design patterns. This helps people as they don’t have to learn new ways of doing the same things. Sometimes existing patterns may not meet every need. Existing patterns will improve and new patterns can emerge. Always start with GOV.WALES design guidance.

Make it open

Share what you know. Share your work. Share your code. Share your ideas. Share with your users, colleagues and stakeholders. By collaborating, individual products and GOV.WALES will get better and better.