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  1. Service manual
  2. Design
  3. Using, adapting and creating patterns

Design patterns are evidence-based solutions to common design problems.

Following design patterns means you:

  • avoid repeating work that’s already been done
  • avoid making mistakes that others have already learned from
  • build on the research and experience of teams across government
  • make your service consistent with other government services

Meeting the Digital Service Standard

To pass point 13 (make the user experience consistent with GOV.UK) in your service assessments, you must use GOV.UK design patterns which are relevant to the service you’re building.

How to use design patterns

Check available GOV.UK design patterns and use the ones that apply to your service as you build it.

You must start using design patterns as soon as you begin making prototypes.

Using beta patterns

Beta patterns have been tested in prototypes but need further research. This means:

  • you can choose not to use them - this won’t affect your service assessment
  • they’re more likely to change than other patterns

If you use a beta pattern, you can share your feedback to help improve it on the pattern page.

Existing beta patterns

Currently, the Task list page pattern is the only beta pattern.

Creating or changing patterns

If research shows that none of the existing patterns meet the needs of your users, you can:

  • adapt an existing pattern
  • create a new pattern

You must publish your findings in the design patterns wiki. You’ll need to request access to the wiki.

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Design community
Last update:

Added guidance on using beta patterns.

  1. Guidance first published