How we work

Community principles

These principles are for the community of people that create and contribute to government components and patterns.

1. Start with what exists

Reuse as much as possible and iterate based on user needs.

Start by checking what exists in the GOV.UK Design System.

If something is not in the Design System, check the list of discussions on GitHub and community resources and tools to see what colleagues in other departments have done before.

Reach out to the community to ask questions, gather examples and learn from others’ mistakes.

2. Contribute back and help others

The GOV.UK Design System is for everyone. Anyone can contribute evidenced-based changes.

Think beyond your service and aim to design components and patterns that are scalable, reusable and can evolve over time.

Share research findings and examples with others. Be open to feedback or changes to your work.

Above all, be kind. Encourage others to contribute by being respectful when asking questions or giving feedback.

When our users make a contribution to the Design System, we like to publicly thank them for their work. If you’ve contributed, we’ll ask you for permission before we give you a shout-out.

3. Prioritise openness and honesty

Prioritise sharing components and patterns in the GOV.UK Design System and list of discussions on GitHub. This makes them easier to find and reduces duplication of effort.

Share work in progress as early as possible. Be honest about the amount and nature of your research and findings. Share what works and what does not.

Promote awareness of existing work whenever possible.

Need help?

If you’ve got a question about the GOV.UK Design System, contact the team.