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(Above: image from Gov.uk/designprinciples — Principle 10, Make things open: it makes things better.)

The UK government is leading the way in using design to create simpler digital services for its citizens.

A 2010 report commissioned by the government made a series of strong recommendations, including creating a single ‘front end’ for all government digital services, releasing API’s to government data, creating a central team with absolute control over all interaction experiences for digital services, and appointing a CEO of Digital with absolute authority over user experiences across all digital channels.

Under the direction of Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude, the government followed these recommendations—and they followed them very well. Continue Reading…

A step backward

July 18, 2011 — 1 Comment


The UK has long had an impressive track record of producing successful designers and engineers. Many credit that success to a focus on design within the education system. Significant investments were made in the second half of the 20th Century on design and engineering programs at the University level but more importantly for the last 20 years design and technology has been mandated as part of the core curriculum in high schools. Apparently this is now under threat as the government in the UK reduces spending and alters priorities. A number of influential designers, engineers and business folks, including James Dyson, Paul Smith, Dick Powell and Ian Callum make the argument in this video as to why this is a huge mistake.