6. Consistent and responsive design

Build the service with responsive design methods using common design patterns and the style guide for digital content.

Why it's in the Standard

Using responsive design, following common design patterns and style guidance for digital content, and making sure the service is accessible means it will be user-friendly, inclusive, adaptable, and measurable. It will also be available on the platforms and devices that users choose.

Consistent design that is responsive to different devices helps you to save time and money by re-using something that already exists that follows better practice, and is based on data and user research. This means you can concentrate on the unique things your service needs to do.

Responsive design ensures that users can interact with your service regardless of their device size or type, and browser or device processing power. The service should follow mobile-first design principles, consider users on slow internet connections or with limited download data, work well for both mouse and touch devices, and use front-end technology that works well regardless of device processing power.

Writing and designing content so it is consistent, plain and in the language of your users helps people gain trust and confidence in using different services. By providing information they can easily understand they may be less likely to use alternative websites that could be misleading.

How you can meet the Standard

During Alpha stage you need to consider the design methods and patterns you could apply in your service, and how you can communicate simply and clearly with your users. You should show that you:

  • understand how you will use responsive design for platform independence
  • understand how you will use existing design patterns to make the service consistent
  • create simpler and clearer information by understanding the language of your users, using plain language by default, and applying contemporary online writing methods
  • follow accessibility better practice and are planning how your public prototype will meet WCAG level 2.1
  • ensure appropriate design, content design and front-end developer support is provided to the team

As you develop through Beta stage and progress to Live stage, you should be applying these principles and design methods and will be expected to show them in your service.

Further reading