Last reviewed: 09 Dec 2016


Design principles

Our design principles reflect how we think about design. They provide a way for us to look at the work we create and how we create it: building the right thing; building the thing right.

We design in context

Communicating with a clear voice, at the right time, in the right way.

We do this by:

  • understanding user needs, the market, technology and our business goals
  • looking at the whole experience for the user, not just the digital part
  • giving information only at the point it’s needed, and through the most effective channel

We design with purpose

Making services that are useful, elegant and easy to use.

We’re doing this by:

  • knowing why the service is needed before we build it
  • measuring and challenging the effectiveness of what we build
  • getting out of the way — helping users achieve their goals as quickly as they can
  • designing services that speak for themselves — they’re self-explanatory and intuitive

We design for everyone

Designing so that no one feels different.

We do this by:

  • communicating in a clear, simple way; opening up our services to everyone
  • designing for people irrespective of their background, circumstance, digital skills or subject knowledge — removing any barriers to our services
  • recognising that people come to our services with their own needs, insecurities and struggles — they deserve our consideration and thoughtfulness

We design with honesty

Nothing made up.

We do this by:

  • being truthful about what we can and cannot do for our users
  • talking about what we’ve done, not what we’ve yet to do
  • being true to our medium, understanding its opportunities and limits

We design in the open

Being co-operative in the way we work with others.

We do this by:

  • talking about what we’re making as we make it
  • being generous with what we know, and open to learning from others
  • not being afraid to experiment

We design iteratively

There’s no substitute for putting our work in front of real people.

We do this by:

  • releasing earlier, learning faster
  • learning from what people do, not what they say they do
  • making design decisions based on evidence
  • responding to change

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