A roundup of steps that federal agencies, and other government entities, can take right now to improve the resilience of their websites and serve information more efficiently to the people that need it
U.S. Web Design System
A design system for the federal government
Building trust through consistency
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.
Create better experiences for the American public
The U.S. Web Design System is 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 Design System is now a stable set of code and guidelines designed for the needs of government.
Though the Design System is 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 Design System is 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 Design System address a number of common design elements, including:
The Design System is open source and free to use, but the 18F team is also available to help train federal agency teams on how to implement the Design System or build custom design elements to meet an agency’s specific needs.
*The U.S. Web Design System was previously called the U.S. Web Design Standards. Learn more about the name change.
We recently worked with the cloud.gov team to update their public site, cloud.gov, to United States Web Design System 2. The USWDS provided concepts we were able to use to translate designs into code a lot faster and deliver higher fidelity results once we understood how to use them.
The US Web Design System gives flexibility so teams can build the right solution for users, but there are still plenty of design decisions that teams need to make to be successful.