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The all-of-government Design System team at DIA have been working collaboratively with experts and stakeholders from across NZ and the world, to make sure the government design system components meet WCAG 2.1.

Accessible design is good design. Building services should be as inclusive a process as possible, leading to positive outcomes for users. We want to make sure all people, including those using assistive technologies and devices, can access information when and how they need to. This is a key principle of the Digital Service Design Standard for NZ.

We’re working collaboratively with experts and stakeholders from across Aotearoa New Zealand and the world, to make sure the government design system components being developed meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1

Learning from the best

As part of the initial work we looked at:

We talked to staff from a variety of government agencies, through user research and workshops, throughout 2019.

GOV.UK — an accessible foundation

We’re building on the great work done by the UK, Australia and the US on their design systems.

The GOV.UK Design System has been tested both with government users and citizens. Every style, component and pattern is rigorously accessibility tested, including for different types of screen readers.

Government Digital Service (GDS) have 10 years’ worth of design, development and user testing knowledge that we’re learning from. Tim Paul, Head of Interaction Design at GDS and manager of the UK’s Design System team helped us and we’re using their styles and components as the foundation of our design system.

An ethos of collaboration and contribution

An added benefit is that the GOV.UK team get to trial how their design system can be adapted for other websites, across the UK and in other countries.

“It’s been great to see our work used elsewhere! We’re very happy that others are starting to benefit from it, and we’re looking forward to more international collaboration in the future,” says Tim.

In the ethos of collaboration and contributing, we’re also working on some of the additional features our design system supports that the GOV.UK doesn’t (currently), including the ability to switch colours between ‘dark’ and ‘light’ and support multiple web frameworks.   

Prototype the Design System alpha

Volunteer to prototype the Design System alpha or simply stay in the loop!

We’re grateful to the many who have volunteered to give us feedback on our Design System alpha.

We’re very keen to prototype with organisations and agencies in New Zealand. If you would like to prototype, test or receive updates from us please fill in this form

The all-of-government Design System work is commissioned by Government Information Services at the Department of Internal Affairs. The programme team are based at the Service Innovation Lab.

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