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Sound familiar?

In December 2018 the Department of Innovation & Technology team reviewed our goals and the design principles of leading government digital service teams from around the world to chose a set of principles to guide our work.

We examined the following statements of principle, chosen to include examples from government, nonprofit, local, goal-driven (“Accessibility”), and a platform-driven example, since we often use software platforms to deliver services to residents, partners and employees of the City of Chicago.

  1. The Chicago Tech plan
  2. The United Kingdom’s Design Principles
  3. Australia’s DesignGov Principles
  4. Code for America’s Principles for 21st Century Government
  5. Principles for Accessibility
  6. Salesforce design principles

One thing in particular we noted as a result of this activity is the difficulty we had finding consistent URLs for these items. We will keep these principles in GitHub and hope to make them more consistently available.

You may ask, why not just write your own principles, without looking at other teams’ work? We don’t have time for that, and neither do you. We’re a municipal government, budgets are tight, time is limited, people are overbooked.

We could take the time to write our own principles, carefully crafting them in workshops, updating them yearly, and eventually maturing them into the principles you see listed above. In the spirit of the USDS design principles we chose to start from existing solutions, learning from the organizations whose work represents some of the highest quality digital service delivery in our sector, and start culture change through our team’s discussion of these values.

Have questions? We’d love to hear from you about our principles, or other feedback you may have. Get in touch at the link in our footer.