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Using, adapting and creating patterns

Design patterns are evidence-based solutions to common design problems. You must start using them as soon as you begin making prototypes.

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

Where to find design patterns

In the GOV.UK Design System, you’ll find patterns on how to ask users for commonly-needed information like:

  • addresses
  • dates
  • gender or sex
  • names
  • National Insurance numbers
  • passwords

There are also patterns on how to help users do things like:

  • check a service is suitable
  • check their answers
  • confirm an email address
  • create a username
  • create an account

You’ll also find patterns for common page types like:

  • confirmation pages
  • question pages
  • start pages
  • task list pages

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 contribute your findings back to the GOV.UK Design System.

Last update:

Added guidance on using beta patterns.

  1. Guidance first published