Thursday, May 9, 2013

Design of the Year

The Designs of the Year awards is bestowed by the London Design Museum and described as the ‘Oscars of the design world’. Entries for this year’s award included Thomas Heatherwick’s fantastic Olympic Cauldron, the Raspberry Pi Computer, The Shard, and a collection by Louis Vuitton. The list is eclectic, but what is even more incredible is who walked away with the big prize on the night. GOV.UK, a new single platform government website bagged the top award.

When you visit the site, you may be shocked. It’s not dressed in a designer outfit like one would expect, but it works effectively in helping people find the information that they need. It changes people’s lives by getting to the point. Driver’s licence? Passport? You’ll find it here. Housing benefits. Here too. It’s convenient, it helps everyone save money. It’s a sweet deal that seems to be getting a lot of hits.

Early on the team at GOV.UK established 10 principles to help them make the right design decisions. It’s a list that works for more than design. You can apply it to your business and most of them can change your life.
  1. Start with needs
  2. Do less
  3. Design with data
  4. Do the hard work to make it simple
  5. Iterate. Then iterate again
  6. Build for inclusion
  7. Understand context
  8. Build digital services, not websites
  9. Be consistent, not uniform
  10. Make things open: it makes things better

1 comment:

Tony said...

Hopefully this award inspires other websites to focus on the user.

For many websites where we want to get information, simplicity is again the answer. Just as we travel down a road we look for signposts that can help us get to our destination, the web should be like a road that helps us get to where we want to go instead of a jungle.

I once got taught that we should get what we want within 3 clicks.