The ONS website sits outside of the GOV.UK ‘brand’ and as such has design patterns and user experience requirements separate to those of GDS.
ONS has developed a design that learns from the work of GDS – including creating our own ‘pattern library’ onsdigital.github.io/pattern-library) – and worked closely with user experience specialists and designers from CX Partners during the Alpha to develop a UX approach that best reflected the requirements of our users.
The UX lead for the Beta team is also an experienced front-end developer and has worked with the more junior front-end developers to update and extend the pattern library based on feedback as we have progressed. This is a continuous, iterative process based on findings from our user research. We prioritise small changes that bring big usability gains wherever possible.
We have also worked closely with colleagues from our Data Visualisation Unit to ensure any usage of charts etc represent best practice and ONS guidance – extremely important given the focus of our site!