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New design system for NSW

The NSW Digital Design System was launched late last year and includes standards, style guidelines, best-practice guides and components — including reusable code and a user interface pattern library based on the DTA’s Design System.

Salsa Digital 22 February 2019

NSW design system launched

In December last year, NSW launched its new Digital Design System. The system aims to ensure a consistent, user-centred digital experience for NSW citizens.

The four elements

The NSW Digital Design System is made up of four elements:

  1. The Digital Design Standard that focuses on six key user-centric guidelines — create with purpose; design with users for users; continuously improve; respect privacy and maintain security; reuse and repurpose; and be open, accountable and collaborative.

  2. Design style guidelines that look at colours, layout, typography and NSW logo placement.

  3. Components that can be used to build digital solutions, specifically a user interface (UI) pattern library, reusable components (code) and an API store.

  4. Guides on best practice approaches, covering topics like planning a project, writing, user research, information architecture (IA), user experience, and testing.

It’s also expected that alignment with the design system will be mandatory from next month.

More on the pattern library

A UI pattern library is a great way to save time and development resources by reusing existing components/code while also ensuring a consistent digital experience across government (in this case, NSW Government). The NSW UI Pattern Library will grow, but it currently has code for components ranging from accordions and breadcrumbs to buttons and side navigation. The pattern library is based on the DTA’s UI library.

Inspiration for the NSW Digital Design System

An October Digital NSW blog titled Creating a Digital Design System for NSW Government, mentioned some of the design systems that were reviewed as part of the team’s research. These included some government design systems like the DTA’s Australian Government Design System, the GOV.UK Design System, and the U.S. Web Design System; as well as enterprise systems like Google Material Design and Lonely Planet Rizzo. The NSW team also looked at industry and government design standards.

Design systems around Australia

More government jurisdictions around Australia are implementing design systems and reaping the benefits in terms of shared resources, best practices and reduced costs. In addition to the new NSW Digital Design System and the DTA’s Australian Government Design System, Victoria has also recently released its own pattern library and design system, Ripple.

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