Design principles

We designed the Draft U.S. Web Design Standards to help you create better experiences for the American public. Here’s how using the Standards can help you:

Make the best thing the easiest thing.

The Draft U.S. Web Design Standards is the easiest path for teams around the federal government to comply with the latest federal policy for websites and digital services. The USWDS support modern web development practices, such as mobile first and responsive frameworks. By offering open-source, quick-to-download code and assets, the Standards make it easy to deliver the highest-quality government websites to the public.

Offer accessibility out of the box.

Every asset we offer should meet the high accessibility standards outlined in Section 508. For teams that need to customize the USWDS to meet their agency needs, guidance will be offered to ensure any extensions and customizations that are made comply with Section 508 guideline.

Design for flexibility.

Our patterns and designs are easy to adapt to support the diverse scope and needs of government digital services. The tools and components provided in the USWDS are focused on performance, both from a technical and team based point of view. To ensure this, everything should be validated for the user by the user. The USWDS wants to empower teams across to government to make the statement “good enough for government work” means something again.

Showcase benefits for agency and users

Teams around the government should easily be able to find inspiration from among their peers. This inspiration can jumpstart many teams own efforts but also lay the groundwork for making the business case for adopting the Draft U.S. Web Design Standards. The success of both USWDS and its users will be cataloged both quantitatively and qualitatively.

Reuse, reuse, reuse.

Teams should not be burdened with recreating basic components and patterns for every new product they create. The tools, patterns, and components present in the USWDS will be a comprehensive collection of tried-and-true assets that reflect industry best practices. This will enable teams to focus on the unique aspects of their product to ensure the general public is getting the best possible service.