Design Principles

These are our corporate design principles which underpin the thinking behind the services we design and deliver.

Do the hard work, test and learn to keep it simple

We need to regularly review our process – just because we have done it for years doesn’t mean it’s the best way. Working in an Agile way where feedback on processes is actioned. Customers should have less points of contact. It’s ok to make mistakes, as long as we learn from them and share our experiences.   

Focus on the customer journey, making it quick and uncomplicated to empower customers to do more for themselves

We need to use data to inform the construction of the customer journey. Aligns with corporate values of Ambitious, Trustworthy and Creative. We must balance our digital persona with also being seen as human beings.    

Focus on the goals 

We need to know the purpose of what we’re hoping to achieve. There should be a clear path of how we will do this set out at the start of a project.   

Less is more 

We need to work efficiently and smartly. Less is more. If something works we should look to reuse it elsewhere in the organisation.   


We should be seen by others as trailblazing and distinctive developing new and innovative services using open source so that we can share. Thinking outside of the box and be risk aware, not risk averse. Ask yourself: “How can you make this process more distinctive as an ABC service?” We should dare to innovate, whether that is using new ways of working or existing solutions.  

Seamless approach

We will put the customer at the heart of what we do. We’ll provide easy to use digital services that collect information only once. We need to be consistent across council systems to provide resilience.   

Who needs this information?  

When designing content or a process we should always be asking ourselves this question. We need to have an understanding of the customer’s needs and should only collect the information we need. This information should only be collected once, at the first point of contact.  

Tell customers what to expect and keep them up to date along the way  

We must manage the expectations of our customers. They should be able to track the progress of their transactions/applications. We need to clearly communicate when they can expect to hear back from us and what else we may need. We should constantly seek feedback from our customers to continually improve services.   

This is for everyone

Consider the ability of those using our services and create content/processes that can be completed by anyone. Ensure services and customer journeys are accessible. Write in plain English, use heading styles, explain acronyms, use alt text and cater for users who have English as a second language.