Last Friday Rebecca Kemp, Joshua Marshall and I visited the opening of the ‘Design that Makes a Difference’ exhibition at the Royal College of Art. Josh is our accessibility lead and Rebecca leads the Assisted Digital programme. Organised as a collaboration between the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and the Norwegian government, the exhibition is about “inclusive design” and “showcases 20 leading projects from the UK and Norway that demonstrate the benefits of people-centred design thinking”.
Posts tagged ‘design’
Last night we were surprised and proud to win the Design Museum’s Design of the Year award.
That picture sums up what I want to say. This is not just a win for GDS, this is a win for everyone across government.
In that picture there is a fraction of the team who have worked on this at GDS: designers, content editors, developers, product managers, operations, strategy, engagement, and project management people. There’s the Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd, and Rohan Silva, Senior Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister. Pippa Norris from Ministry of Defence, Roger Oldham from Ministry of Justice and Adam Bye from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. There’s also Margaret Calvert (who designed the UK road signage system in the ’60s) and our little award.
The Design Museum’s annual ‘Designs of the Year’ awards exhibition launched last week. As usual it’s an eclectic mix of architecture, fashion, digital, furniture, products, transport and graphics. Category winners and the overall winner will be decided by a jury and announced to the public on 17 April 2013.
Before Christmas, Ben Terrett asked the design team to think of one thing we’d like to change on GOV.UK. My choice was easy; add high resolution graphics to the site so it looks better on high pixel density devices.
Rather than write a report about what I’d like to change, I took the opportunity to get going and actually implement hi-res icons and logos on GOV.UK. Read more
At GDS we intend the web to be the primary platform for publishing things like policy, speeches and detailed guidance, with any print documents taking a supporting role. As a consequence legibility online becomes hugely important, because the reader will be using these texts to either implement government policy or form opinions about it.
At the very least the material needs to match the legibility of the printed or pdf documents it is replacing – a job which webpages don’t usually manage. Generally the internet has favoured universal access to material over the quality of that material, but at the moment here at GDS (like many other publishing organisations) we’re wrestling over how we can combine the two. Read more
At GDS, we have been building teams focused around product rather than teams focused solely on expertise and I am pretty typical of this ethos. My background is graphic design, so working on the web meant I needed to learn how to build websites as well as designing what they look like. It forced me to think about users’ interactions with, and their journeys through the sites I designed and built.
Alpha.gov.uk is a demonstration of what a single central Government site could be. It’s not Business Link, it’s not Directgov, it’s not any specific department or Government agency – but at the same time it represents all of those, and in a hypothetical future a single central Government site could exist instead of them all (the reasoning behind this is explained elsewhere).