Design Manual refresh

On 28 April 2023 by Andy Jones, Head of Design

I'm pleased to say we have released our improved Design Manual for the Department for Education.

Since September 2022, the design community, and Design Ops, have been contributing to a manual which we quickly put together using the NHS Design System.

However, this contained lots of code and features that were NHS-based patterns and components. This wasn't in line with our mission to ensure that the Department for Education designs and builds user-centred, accessible services which meet our user's needs.

As a result, we have rebuilt the manual from the ground up, ensuring it's built on the GOV.UK Design System and implements our new DfE Frontend library. We have also:

  • ensured the manual meets WCAG 2.1 Level AA throughout
  • rewritten some sections to ensure plain language is used where possible
  • published a NPM package for DfE Frontend to implement in services
  • introduced an "Our work" section for teams to talk about the work they are doing across design

Why we have a Design Manual

We identified that there was a need for people to:

  • have one place to find information and guidance on design in DfE
  • be assured that the guidance they are using is accurate and up to date
  • understand that the guidance and standards we publish are the one source of the truth
  • find templates, components and patterns which can be easily implemented and reused in their services

To find out more, contact the Design Ops team.