Your site must look like GOV.UK if it’s on one of the following domains:
This ensures that users get a consistent experience and trust they’re in the right place if they follow a link to your service from elsewhere on GOV.UK.
When building these types of services, you must use the:
- design principles
- design patterns, components and styles in the GOV.UK Design System
- GOV.UK content style guide
- phase banner, if your service is in alpha or beta
You’ll need to use the GOV.UK Design System and GOV.UK Frontend to implement the patterns and typeface.
You can use the typeface on the offline parts of your service too if the digital part has passed a beta assessment.
Unless it’s a blog, your service must also have a GOV.UK:
If the existing patterns don’t meet your needs
If research shows that none of the existing GOV.UK patterns meet the needs of your users, you can:
- adapt an existing pattern
- create a new pattern
In a service assessment, you’ll need to provide research and evidence to prove how your design works better for users.
Learn more about using, adapting and creating patterns.
Researching design solutions
GOV.UK design patterns are reviewed regularly and tested with users on live government services.
You can read the research and join discussions about them on the GOV.UK Design System.
If your service isn’t on GOV.UK
You’re welcome to use the GOV.UK patterns and frontend code even if your service isn’t considered part of GOV.UK. Although you’ll sometimes need to use different patterns, for example if you’re building something like an admin interface.
While you can use the patterns, your site or service must not:
- identify itself as being part of GOV.UK
- use the crown or GOV.UK logotype in the header
- use the GDS Transport typeface
- suggest that it’s an official UK government website if it’s not
These things are there to provide a consistent identity and navigation between GOV.UK and the sites and transactional services that hang off it. If your service isn’t on GOV.UK, there’s no need to maintain that identity - in fact, you might confuse or mislead people if you do.
You should also use the brand logo and font of your organisation.
Examples and case studies
Examples that show you how to make your service consistent with GOV.UK include:
- One thing per page
- Prototyping tips
- How to use our design patterns – even if your service isn’t part of GOV.UK
Guidance first published