Setup guides

Prototyping

This guide explains how to create prototypes using the GOV.UK Design System and GOV.UK Prototype Kit.

Before you start

To make prototypes you will need to install version 7 or later of the GOV.UK Prototype Kit which has been built to work with the Design System.

Version 7 of the Prototype Kit works in the same way as previous versions except that it uses a new frontend framework called GOV.UK Frontend.

This means that any code that you copy across from old prototypes will not display correctly. Instead, you should use the code provided in the Design System.

Styling page elements

The Design System provides lots of new CSS classes for styling page elements, so you should not need to write as much of your own Sass or CSS.

Explore the Styles section of the Design System to see what classes are available and how to apply them.

Using components

Components are reusable parts of the user interface, like buttons, text inputs and checkboxes. The components in the Design System are designed to be accessible and responsive.

There are 2 ways to use components in the Design System. You can either use HTML or a Nunjucks macro.

You can copy the code from the HTML or Nunjucks tabs below any examples:

<button type="submit" class="govuk-button">
  Save and continue
</button>
Nunjucks macro options

Use options to customise the appearance, content and behaviour of a component when using a macro, for example, changing the text.

Some options are required for the macro to work; these are marked as "Required" in the option description.

If you're using Nunjucks macros in production with "html" options, or ones ending with "html", you must sanitise the HTML to protect against cross-site scripting exploits.

Primary options
Name Type Description
element string Whether to use an input, button or a element to create the button. In most cases you will not need to set this as it will be configured automatically if you use href or html.
text string Required. If html is set, this is not required. Text for the button or link. If html is provided, the text argument will be ignored and element will be automatically set to button unless href is also set, or it has already been defined. This argument has no effect if element is set to input.
html string Required. If text is set, this is not required. HTML for the button or link. If html is provided, the text argument will be ignored and element will be automatically set to button unless href is also set, or it has already been defined. This argument has no effect if element is set to input.
name string Required. Name for the input or button. This has no effect on a elements.
type string Required. Type of input or buttonbutton, submit or reset. Defaults to submit. This has no effect on a elements.
value string Required. Value for the button tag. This has no effect on a or input elements.
disabled boolean Whether the button should be disabled. For button and input elements, disabled and aria-disabled attributes will be set automatically.
href string The URL that the button should link to. If this is set, element will be automatically set to a if it has not already been defined.
classes string Classes to add to the button component.
attributes object HTML attributes (for example data attributes) to add to the button component.
{% from "button/macro.njk" import govukButton %}

{{ govukButton({
  text: "Save and continue"
}) }}

Using Nunjucks macros

A Nunjucks macro is a simple template that generates more complex HTML. However, macros are more sensitive to mistakes than HTML, so it’s worth saving and previewing.

When using Nunjucks macros in the Prototype Kit leave out the first line that starts with {% from ....

Get in touch

If you’ve got a question, idea or suggestion share it in #govuk-design-system on cross-government Slack (open in app) or email the Design System team on govuk-design-system-support@digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk