U.S. Web Design Standards

Background

A design library for government developers

Across the government, developers frequently have to tackle the same design problems when creating a new website. What should the buttons look like? How should the navigation work? Each time a federal developer comes to a different solution, it creates a more fractured experience for public users of government services.

Creating a more consistent feel across government websites can help build trust with users, help people clearly identify official websites, and make services easier to use — and saves the government time and money.

Approach

Create better experiences for the American public

The U.S. Web Design Standards are a library of design components that can help government developers quickly make trustworthy, accessible, and consistent digital government services. Originally developed as a collaboration between the U.S. Digital Service and 18F, the Standards are now a stable set of code and guidelines designed for the needs of government.

Though the Standards are not required to be used for federal government websites, they can help speed up the launch of a new site or bring a modern, consistent look to existing websites and services.

The Standards are accessible, responsive, and designed for flexibility and optimized for web performance right out of the box. You can just add one of the components to update part of your site or the whole package for a complete redesign. The Standards address a number of common design elements, including:

  • Buttons
  • Tables
  • Navigation
  • Typography
  • Forms
  • Color

The Standards are open source and free to use, but the 18F team is also available to help train federal agency teams on how to implement that standards or build custom design elements to meet an agency’s specific needs.

Have a project in mind?

Want to see if 18F can help your agency? We’d love to talk more, answer your questions, or learn more about what you’re working on.