Creating the visual and interactive experience that ensures user needs are met quickly and easily.
Design is about how users interact with services and how the services look. It spans everything from colours to typography to accessibility.
Some relevant roles: interaction designers, user experience (UX) designers, graphic designers, visual designers, developers
Understanding the particular focus of different design disciplines (eg interaction, graphic and user experience (UX))
Mapping user journeys
Plotting and explaining the end-to-end user journey of a service, including multiple online and offline touch points a user might interact with.
Using design research in design
- understanding different user research practices
- working collaboratively with user researchers
- using the findings to produce relevant design decisions
Designing using data
Using performance analysis and user research data to improve and refine the user experience.
Designing for ease of use
Creating user interfaces, flows and sites that are fundamentally easy to understand and use.
Designing services based on user behaviour
- knowing how users interact with online services
- understanding that interaction design is often described as ‘shaping digital things for people’s use’ and considers both format and human-computer interaction (HCI)
- sketching concepts quickly and being able to explain them to non-designers
- showing ideas to users early on to get their feedback, which will help ensure design focuses on their needs
Platform and device agnostic digital design
Designing interfaces that are responsive as well as platform and device agnostic, so they work on as many different end user devices as possible.
Prototyping interfaces in HTML
- prototyping interfaces rapidly on paper and then digitally, using a basic understanding of languages such as HTML5 and CSS3
- using debugging tools such as Chrome Dev tools and Firebug to support the development and improvement of digital services
Utilising good typography
- having an understanding of typography
- creating a hierarchy of information
Creating accessible interfaces and services
- developing interfaces and front-end services that are accessible by default, which includes:
- visual elements
- code mark-up
- page structures
- considering accessibility from the outset, as accessibility improves the experience for all users
Meeting accessibility standards
- designing a service that meets appropriate accessibility standards (eg Level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 as a starting point)
- being familiar with assistive technologies (eg screen readers and speech recognition software) and recognising how these affect the user experience
- understanding individual and organisation-wide duties under the Equalities Act 2010
Creating and/or following agreed design patterns (eg styling of basic form elements and transaction pages).
Using image editing tools to support the creation of designs, layouts and user interfaces.
Using a version control system, including to support collaborative teamwork in agile development.
The Service Design Manual includes an overview of design skills, looking at what designers do and what capabilities to look for when hiring designers.
The Service Design Manual includes a wide array of resources for designers on good design practice for services on GOV.UK.
The UX review is an external blog on user experience (UX) design. It includes a guide for beginners.