USDS publishes design standards for federal government websites

U.S. Web Design Standards
U.S. Web Design Standards

The U.S. Digital Service has soft-launched new U.S. Web Design Standards to “create consistency and beautiful user experiences across U.S. federal government websites.”

The standards, similar to popular design frameworks like Bootstrap and Foundation, include a style guide and downloadable code assets aimed at creating a unified, mobile-friendly citizen experience and making it easier for developers to deploy across all government websites.

With the new standards comes a slight modification to play three of the U.S. Digital Services Playbook (“Make it simple and intuitive”) from “Create or use an existing, simple, and flexible design style guide for the service” to “Use a simple and flexible design style guide for the service. Use the U.S. Web Design Standards as a default.”

Work on the standards began earlier this year with the pattern library and, as I’ve mentioned before, the federal government could realize millions of dollars in savings by simply re-purposing a unified framework instead of re-inventing the design wheel. Much like what Bootstrap and Foundation have done to exponentially expedite development and go-to-market launches for countless startups and their products, so too could the U.S. Web Design Standards for federal government digital services.

Update from 18F:

About Luke Fretwell

Luke Fretwell is the founder of GovFresh, co-founder/CEO of ProudCity and co-host of the podcast, The Government We Need. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn or email at

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