I think there’s a lot the charity sector could learn from GDS, despite differences between the two sectors.
There are some very practical things we could implement that would fundamentally reshape how charities design and deliver digital services that are driven by, and meet, the needs of their communities.
We need digital design principles for the charity sector!
These aren’t just good guidance on how to develop digital solutions, they are a rallying cry about how we want to work.
Digital design principles play many useful roles. They shape the culture of a digital delivery team, inform strategy, help people new to technology orientate themselves about how to work, and help experienced organisations stay on track.
High level principles are useful, but only go so far.
When you’re building a digital service you need criteria to follow to ensure you’re doing it effectively. This means key activities, like starting with user needs, using meaningful metrics, and building robust technology are embedded in every service.
The GDS Service Standards are a great example of this, but we need to develop criteria that are specific for the charity sector. This will give charities and funders the confidence that what they’re building or funding is fit for purpose.