18F, USDS release guide for uniform government Web design

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The design standards look to end the patchwork of styles seen across government website. (Image via 18F)

New design standards for U.S. government websites published Monday aim to provide a more consistent and citizen-friendly look to the mishmash of buttons, forms and search bars that often characterize Uncle Sam’s Internet presence.

Led by 18F and the U.S. Digital Service, the newly-released U.S. Web Design Standards guide gives agencies a set of standards for how government websites should look. Posted on GitHub, designers and developers now have a set of tools to help craft a uniform user interface when redesigning or creating new government websites.

“We’re excited to be working in the open to create a resource that everyone can own and contribute to,” wrote Mollie Ruskin with USDS in a post on Medium. “We’ve taken an iterative, user-centered approach to ensure we’re addressing the needs of our end users as well as government designers and developers.”

Over four months, 18F, USDS and members of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, Social Security Administration, Department of Education and the Internal Revenue Service worked on standards dedicated to style sheets, HTML foundations and various typefaces that are built off of modern Web practices. The code meets the government’s Section 508 needs, which require federal agencies to make their websites accessible to people with disabilities.

The post says the standards are still in alpha, but the teams have opened the code to feedback via GitHub.

You can view the full standards here.

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18F, Agencies, Applications & Software, General Services Administration, Government IT News, open source, Tech, U.S. Digital Service, White House