Finally—A Style Guide for Government Websites

by | Branding, Web Design

U.S. Web Design Standards Mockup

Creating a consistent User Experience (UX) is challenging enough when designing for one website, but creating a system of good UX for multiple websites for a number of agencies sounds especially daunting. (And did we mention these are government websites? When was the last time you found what you were looking for on a .gov website in less than 15 minutes?) The very thought of creating a dynamic and cohesive system on this scale would make many a designer curl up into a ball on the floor even before submitting a proposal.

Luckily, the folks at 18F are here to solve the problem with the launch of version 1.0 of the U.S. Web Design Standards at standards.usa.gov. (Even the URL is clean and simple!)

The U.S. Web Design Standards aim to provide an across-the-board solution to make the UX better by creating a common, consistent visual language for all federal government websites. The design standards are very thorough, providing guidelines for typography, pairing and styles, color palettes, grid systems, and even button and input field standards. They even went so far as to develop content style guidelines. (Hooray!)

Various government landing pages

Federal Government Landing Pages

U.S. Web Design Standards Color Palette

U.S. Web Design Standards Color Palette

Creating a consistent user experience across all platforms is becoming a much more important process as users access information differently. Careers in UX/UI design are fast-growing and for good reason. It’s no longer enough to have a website that only looks nice. It also needs to be functional and serve the demands of users—which is what the U.S. Web Design Standards aim to achieve: One system, for all of the websites, with clarity and consistency for all.