GOV.UK Design system

A project that started as a small pattern library on one of my projects - has grown into a cross-Government system being used by multiple Government organisations.

Our design system prototype
Our design system

The project

This project started life as a pattern library.

Early into my first project at the Home Office I felt I was breaking new ground. We have 100s of teams delivering services across the Home Office and I wanted to share my work with others. So I started a small pattern library project.

An early version of what was our pattern library

Managing the project

We manage the project changes and discussion in GitHub. This means all our discussions are in the open and it makes getting involved easy for designers across Government.

Our system project management in GutHub
It's important this project is in the open so GitHub makes a lot of sense.

Working across Government

The project has grown in the past year. I lead the project, designing and building what is now a design system. It contains patterns, components and resources. We have a working group of designers, researchers and content designers who decide what's added to the system.

I now work with the Government Digital Service (GDS) to directly contribute and help design the cross-Government system.

Successes

  • helping to build and grow collaboration across Government
  • bringing peoples work into the open - we learn more when we are open and transparent about our work
  • an increase in sharing best practice - designers have shared guidance on versioning prototyping
  • when projects have stopped or paused, we have managed to save learnings and work that before would have been lost or saved deep in sharepoint never to be found again