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Government Digital Service Design Principles

The United Kingdom government's design principles and examples of how they have been used. Each principle includes links to articles with additional explanation and reflections.
1. Start with user needs
2. Do less
3. Design with data
4. Do the hard work to make it simple
5. Iterate. Then iterate again
6. This is for everyone
7. Understand context
8. Build digital services, not websites
9. Be consistent, not uniform
10. Make things open: it makes things better

Discipline or Practice

Digital transformation

Features

Techniques

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Editable source files available

18F Method Cards

A collection of tools that describe how 18F digital service teams put human-centered design into practice. These cards are focused on design in the context of digital services, but can be adapted to non-technical design projects as well.
The resource is online and also available as printable cards.
The card set includes simplified information on various design methods according to an overall methodology: Discover, Decide, Make,Validate. There are also "Fundamentals" cards related to incentives, privacy, and recruiting, all of which are important for overall design projects.
Each card covers what, why, how, time required, and additional resources to learn more about the method. These are intended to be sequenced according to the needs of the project.
Some prior experience with the methods may be helpful for context.

Publisher

18F

Discipline or Practice

Design

Digital transformation

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Editable source files available

The Gift-Giving Experience Project

The Gift-Giving Project is 90-minute (plus debrief) fast-paced project though a full design cycle, intended to give learners a tangible experience with design thinking. It is intended as a group activity (from 2 to 100+ participants) with a facilitator.
Learners pair up to interview each other, come to a point-of-view of how they might design for their partner, ideate, and prototype a new solution to "redesign the gift-giving experience" for their partner. The resource includes a handout, a facilitators guide, and video guidance for facilitators.
The resource is available in English, Spanish, French, German, Basque, Czech, Korean, Catalan, and Dutch.
The d.school offers a similar exercise, The Wallet Project, which is available in Chinese, Bulgarian, and Thai.
This resource is on an older archive version of the d.school website.

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Editable source files available

​Implementing Innovation: A User’s Manual for Open Government Programs

A hands-on resource that provides practical advice, guidance, and an 8-phase process from concept development to implementation for building an open government program, with each step referencing principles, lessons learned, case studies, and a checklist for determining whether you are at the right phase. This resource complements Open Government Partnership Action Plans and and was developed as part of a year-long project with the Mexican government.

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Editable source files available

Open Innovation Toolkit

A community sourced set of best practices and principles to help incorporate human-centered design into a product development process.
The website contains dozens of methods organised by process, difficulty, time required, and outcomes. Each method contains an overview, detailed, steps, resources, and examples or cases.
The methods are framed in terms of private sector product or service development but can be adapted to a public sector context.

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Editable source files available

Open Policy Making Toolkit

The publisher defines Open Policy Making as developing and delivering policy in a fast-paced and increasingly networked and digital world through collaborative approaches, new analytical techniques, and testing and iteratively improving policy.
The manual includes information about Open Policy Making in the United Kingdom government as well as tools, step-by-step guidance and techniques policy makers can use to create more open and user led policy.

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Editable source files available

Inclusive Design Cards

Inclusive design is designing for the full range of human diversity in ability, language, income, culture, gender, age and other characteristics. This toolkit includes a series of cards to use early in a design process to help sketch, plan, prototype and design content, interactions and processes. It covers inclusive physical, audio, visual, and thought experiences. PDF and editable Word document available via the publisher's Github page.

Discipline or Practice

Digital transformation

Design

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Editable source files available

Open Data Board Game

The Open Data Board Game is a board game built around the creation of tools using data. A physical board game journey might involve clearing datasets for release as open data, achieving a certain data quality, and ultimately connecting data sets with a start up, SME or government to deliver economic, social and environmental benefits.
It is a Github code repository that contains all the things that are needed to create the game. It is a work in progress, according to the publisher. Requires some expertise to create the board game using the files in the Github repository.

Discipline or Practice

Open Government

Digital transformation

Features

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Editable source files available

Open Data Swiss Handbook

The resource provides support for individuals and organizations wishing to publish open government data. Some guidance may be specific to the Swiss context. It is designed as a wiki: contributions from organizations and individuals that have experience with open data are welcomed. The resource is organised into stages: identify, prepare, publish, and support. A Github repository of the website's code is also available.

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Editable source files available

X-Road

X-Road, a data exchange layer for information systems, is a technological and organizational environment enabling a secure Internet-based data exchange between information systems. The publisher allows local installations via its Github code repository but support is a paid service.

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Editable source files available

Service Design Playbook

This playbook is an online crash course on service design. It works alongside the 14 points set out in the Digital Service Standard to provide the basics needed to get started on a digital service.
It covers: About service design, Discovery phase, Alpha phase, Beta phase, Live phase, and Team roles

Discipline or Practice

Digital transformation

Features

Techniques

Glossary

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Editable source files available

Smart Cities Made Human Playbook

This playbook defines smart cities through human experiences, including 3 "mindsets" (lenses to understand) and 6 "plays" (ways to start). Originally developed for the City of Calgary, Canada, it offers ways to document, prioritize and advocate for individual human experiences at the nexus of networked technology, data and urbanism. It promotes embracing complexity and designing responsive systems, policies and governance around people for people-centered smart cities. Both PDF and slide deck are available.

Publisher

Dark Matter YYC

Discipline or Practice

Strategic Design

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Editable source files available

A User Manual for [me]

A canvas for individual sharing about work preferences, meant for building good teams and working relationships. The publisher intends for this to be used for making preferences explicit but not for making demands. PDF and Adobe Illustrator file available.

Publisher

Cassie Robinson

Discipline or Practice

Organisational Design

Features

Hero HERO:
Editable source files available

Design Process Mini-Guide

The Design Process Mini-Guide is five-page document outlining a design process taught at the Stanford d.school. The school gives this resource to students after a short design experience, to help solidify the takeaways and abstract the experience to useful framework. The publishers suggest using the document in conjunction with an action-oriented design experience, such as their related Gift Giving Project and Wallet Project. This resource is on an older archive version of the d.school website. The resource is also available in Spanish.

Publisher

Stanford d.school

Discipline or Practice

Design

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Editable source files available

Challenge and Prize Toolkit

Information and resources to guide United States federal employees working on challenges and prizes. It includes guidance on each challenge phase, from preparation to execution and also provides guidance on different types of challenges. It includes case studies and a list of resources for more detailed guidance and support.

Discipline or Practice

Strategic Design

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Editable source files available

Stanford d.school Tools for Taking Action

This is a curated collection of 30+ resources from Stanford d.school classes and workshops, including activities, tools, and how-to guides. They are intended for anyone who wants to become more familiar with design thinking or unlocking creative thinking in whatever challenge being tackled. Some are full-fledged workshops that for guiding others through. Other resources are short worksheet-based activities.

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Editable source files available

DemTools

DemTools is a suite of free, open source software solutions developed by NDITech and distributed for supporting democracy building efforts around the world. The software includes contact management, issue tracking, crowdsourcing, election monitoring, open data, and petition development tools. These were built with the developing world in mind but can also be used in other contexts.
An associated DemTools Guide Book offers an overview of each of the suite of tools, including use cases, user consideration, technical specifications, security considerations, languages/translations, the type of support offered by the publisher, instructions for deploying and hosting the tools and case studies of the tools in practice.
The publisher also offers free and paid hosting service and technical support, but some resources and expertise will be required of the user for setup and ongoing maintenance of the tools.

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Editable source files available

Government Service Design Manual

This resource is intended to support United Kingdom government teams create and run digital services according to their Digital Service Standard. It covers Accessibility and assisted digital, Agile delivery, Design, Measuring success, Service assessments and getting on GOV.UK, Technology, The team, and User research.

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Editable source files available

Web Experience Toolkit (WET)

A front-end framework for building websites that are accessible, usable, interoperable, mobile friendly and multilingual for the Government of Canada and beyond, the resource includes a collection of of flexible and themeable templates and reusable components and related guidance. Content is also available in French.

Publisher

Canada Government

Discipline or Practice

Digital transformation

Service Design

Features

Techniques

Tactics

Hero HERO:
Editable source files available

Australia Digital Transformation Toolkit

This resource provides South Australian Government organisations with guidance on the development and format of their digital strategies, which they distinguish separately from an information and communications technology (ICT) strategy. The toolkit contains guidance on the development and format of digital strategies, a digital maturity assessment tool, a digital transformation prioritisation tool, a digital strategy template, and an implementation plan template.

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Editable source files available

18F Product Guide

This guide is for people at 18F (a United States Federal Government technology transformation agency) who are wondering what to expect from a product manager on their team, as well as for product managers and those filling that role to understand what their team expects from them. This guide also serves as a resource for product management best practices at 18F. This guide could be used in other governments looking for product management guidance.

Publisher

18F

Discipline or Practice

Product Design

Digital transformation

Features

Tips&Tricks

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Editable source files available

Spreading Innovation

The National Centre for Public Sector Innovation in Denmark has developed this guide to help public sector workplaces share their own innovations and reuse others. It is relevant for anyone who wants to collaborate on spreading an innovation from one context to another. The guide consists of six steps with recommended actions to take and associated tools that help structure the dialogue throughout the process.

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Editable source files available

Points of Contact Communications Toolkit

This is a collection of tools for an Open Government Partnership communications team, including the OGP's tips on blogging, branding, talking points, press guide, etc.
While this is specifically created for Open Government Partnership partners, it it can be adapted for other public sector initiatives, services, or programs.

Discipline or Practice

Open Government

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Editable source files available

The Better Government Toolkit

The Better Government Toolkit provides resources to build a better government through innovation. It focuses on four areas/verticals: Build a 21st Century Culture and Workforce, Improve Government Services Delivery, Solve Complex Problems, Collaborate with Innovators. It includes case studies within the United States Government. Each tool includes approach, actions and considerations, glossary of terms, related policies, and related resources.

Discipline or Practice

Public Policy

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Editable source files available

IoT Service Kit

The IoT Service Kit is a board game that brings domain experts out of their silos to co-create user-centric IoT experiences. The Kit consists of three major components: maps, tokens and cards, which can be downloaded and printed/3D printed. It includes source content on GitHub as well. Its stated goals: achieve mutual understanding, stay tangible, and make complex simple. It is best for those who have some understanding of service design processes and principles as well as IoT technologies.

Publisher

Futurice

Discipline or Practice

Service Design

Digital transformation

Hero HERO:
Editable source files available

US Public Participation Playbook

The U.S. Public Participation Playbook is a resource for government managers to evaluate and build better services through public participation using best practices and performance metrics.
Based on discussions with US Federal Government managers and stakeholders, the publishers identified five main categories that should be addressed in all programs, whether digital or offline. Within each category they identified 12 unifying plays to start with, each including a checklist to consider, resources and training. They also provide suggested performance metrics for each main category.

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Editable source files available

USDS Playbook

A playbook of 13 key “plays” drawn from successful practices from the private sector and government that the publisher believes, if followed together, will help governments build effective digital services.

Discipline or Practice

Digital transformation

Features

Checklist

Hero HERO:
Editable source files available

User Experience Design Services – Scenes

“Scenes” is a tool and a method to create visual stories about products and services fast, collaboratively and iteratively. It is intended for leaders and professionals of all industries to shape their ideas and scenarios in the form of fun illustrative storyboards without the need of refined drawing skills. It uses storytelling instead of long functional specifications for new or redesigned services or concepts.
It contains free, downloadable and printable templates for professionals to construct scenes for prototyping products and services. There are also "add-on" scenes for specific situations or topics.
The toolkit contains editable and printable scenes components as well as a how-to guide.

Publisher

SAP

Discipline or Practice

Service Design

Hero HERO:
Editable source files available

Argentina Estándares de Servicios Digitales

Principles and guidance for developing digital services in Argentina and beyond. The resource is available in a Github repository and includes 9 principles, indicators, and standards for API's, website, mobile applications, and others.

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Editable source files available

BETA Guide to developing behavioural interventions for randomised controlled trials

This guide outlines BETA’s approach to developing behavioural interventions for randomised controlled trials (RCTs), based round 9 guiding questions through four project phases:
Discovery, Diagnosis, Design, Delivery. The guide is designed to primarily help with the discovery and diagnosis phases.
It also includes basic guidance on setting up an RCT.
The website includes an academic directory of those working in the behavioral economics research community.

Hero HERO:
Editable source files available

Project Open Data

A collection of code, tools, and case studies to help United States federal agencies adopt the Open Data Policy and unlock the potential of government data.
This project is meant to be a living document, so that collaboration in the open data ecosystem is fostered, and the continual update of technology pieces that affect update can happen at a more rapid pace. Edits to the content may be made by anyone.
It could provide other governments with examples and starter content for its own open data policies.

Discipline or Practice

Open Government

Features

Glossary

Techniques

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Editable source files available

Get Started with Challenge and Prize Competitions

Resources on running a challenge and prize competition.

Discipline or Practice

Organisational Design

Features

Techniques