Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Design Principles

Last week, our class topic was about usability and for this week, it was about transparency. These two topics have deep connection. Transparency of digital government is based on usability. If government website doesn’t have enough usability, people would not be able to access to government information and services. I found the 10 Design principles of UK government digital service. It is very simple but crucial. In their site, we can see a few examples of each principle, so it is easy to understand how this principles work.

1. Start with needs* (* user needs not government needs)
2. Do less
3. Design with data
4. Do the hard work to make it simple
5. Iterate. Then iterate again.
6. Build for inclusion
7. Understand context
8. Build digital services, not websites
9. Be consistent, not uniform
10. Make things open: it makes things better

I think UK government website is greatly user-friendly because most of the government services are in one site. Therefore, people can search government services by topics not by department or division that provides it. In addition, most of departments have same design.  According to this website, the process of making it is by continually doing a user test. The easier the website is the more users it gets. On the other hand, in Japan, each ministry and agency has each website with different designs. Before taking this class, I had never imagined that government can create one-stop service website including all government departments. The Principle #1 is very important not only for making digital services but also all to achieve tasks and to prioritize the needs of the users.

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