Trends on Tuesday: U.S. Web Design Standards Are Coming

At DigitalGov, we’ve been evangelizing the importance of preparing to go mobile-first to better serve our audiences as they reach the mobile-majority, as well as pushing the idea of web performance as a key metric for agencies to focus on. Soon, there will be more tools and open source code made available to help agencies through upcoming updates to The Draft U.S. Web Design Standards with the 1.0 release coming this Winter, along with an enhanced focus on Web Performance.

The Draft U.S. Web Design Standards were created in September 2015 as a partnership between 18F and the U.S. Digital Service to use as a codebase to help agencies quickly, easily — and most important for government organizations — launch and design accessible, trusted government websites. Since then, 18F has taken primary ownership and there’s been more than a year of work on the Standards and in that time more than 14 version updates. With more than 100 government websites using the Standards and thousands of followers and hundreds of forks on GitHub, and with agencies from the local level up to other federal agencies like NASA and, the platform is fleshed out, tested, and stable to the point that an official 1.0 release is warranted. So this winter, it’s coming.

You can learn more about it at an upcoming DigitalGov webinar to be held on January 25th to review some of the feature updates, discuss plans for the 1.0 release, as well as solicit feedback and answer questions from you, the DigitalGov community. You can also join the WDS team in their public Slack channel to ask questions, provide feedback, and seek help, or post issues in the GitHub if you need technical support or have requests or ideas.

Trends on Tuesday is a bi-weekly column for DigitalGov by Will Sullivan.