11 May 2021

The project

Salsa worked with our design partners Oliver Grace to create, refine and user-test a set of designs for the new CASA website, which will soon be live. As part of our original response to the tender, we suggested that CASA and Salsa could work together and contribute back some of the design work to Civic Theme, a new open source GovCMS D9 theme Salsa is creating. 

We wanted to produce a set of high-quality, generic, reusable, responsive, and accessible design theme templates for GovCMS Drupal 9, informed by client needs.

Why Civic Theme?

GovCMS’s out-of-the-box theme is in need of a refresh and is rarely adopted, with most agencies implementing a custom design and theme. This leads to duplication of effort and additional costs for agencies because they need to create designs, conduct user and accessibility testing, and then action any necessary changes. 

Civic Theme is a whole-of-government solution that covers typography, colours, icons, buttons, headers, footers, cards and navigation elements. It will help reduce costs and lower the barrier for agencies coming onto GovCMS D9. 

The giveback pledge

As part of our commitment to open source, Salsa offers 20% off any open source work we do for an organisation/agency and contribute back to the relevant open source community. This can be used by the client towards the project or for any future work. 

In this case, we gave back to CASA 20% of the time used to produce clickable prototypes and to run and synthesise user research. This represents 20% of 66 hours, which CASA can then use towards other development or support work with Salsa. 

The giveback contributions

On behalf of CASA we completed website user interfaces, conducting user research for navigation, usability, interactions and visual appeal. The designs were tested as clickable prototypes, that also adhered to DTA’s Digital Service Standards. We A/B tested two homepage options, a deep-level navigation journey, interactive components, colours, layout and general look-and-feel.

The end result: A user-tested, validated baseline for the new design/theme templates for GovCMS Drupal 9.

This information was fed into Civic Theme, which has been set up as a Figma file. Below are two examples of sections from Civic Theme, covering typography and card components.


Desktop and tablet typography
Download Typography


Samples of different cards
Download Cards

Why giveback?

CASA and Salsa are giving back to the GovCMS community and the broader community of government agencies in Australia. Together, CASA and Salsa have contributed to creating new, open design templates tailored for government.