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The Design System is a living, continually evolving set of tools. The design system unites teams that create digital services, through inclusive design, open-source code and shared insights. Our development priorities are guided by the community.

The design system has undergone a lot of changes since its inception. The principles and governance model that drives the development of the design system is detailed below.

If you have any suggestions or feedback, we would love for you to get in touch with us.

Design Principles

These Design Principles are intended to support and be directly compatible with the Digital Service Standard, recognising that other jurisdictions not covered by the Standard are leveraging and extending the Design System.

Users needs come first

Our immediate users include designers, developers and researchers, but our ultimate users are the consumers of Australian Government digital services. We want the Design System to be easy to apply to the everyday problems encountered by digital practitioners in government, giving them inclusive, high-quality tools which allow them to serve their end users needs to access inclusive government services.

Consistent, not uniform

We aim to provide a consistent appearance and behaviour of common components and templates across digital government services, minimising the learning curve for users moving between services. Developers and designers that use the Design System retain the freedom to apply their own corporate branding (colour schemes, typography and sub-logos) and user flows in a non-disruptive manner.

Function over fashion

Delivering highly-accessible, highly-usable digital services requires doing the basics simply, clearly and quickly. We aim to respect our users time and bandwidth, avoiding anti-patterns or faddish design trends that may delay or disrupt them. This can be beautiful in its own way.

Maximise opportunities for reuse

Favouring a distributed and modular approach we avoid tight coupling with particular technologies. We welcome contributions from across the design and technical communities, regardless of the technology stack or framework. GOLD Design System is discretionary - we want to ensure it becomes a national asset, providing an improved default choice of UI for new or redesigned services.

Evidence over opinion

We believe that consulting with many sources creates better insights, so we aim to involve the Design System community in everything we do. We are open in our processes and research, seeking feedback where possible, documenting decisions and producing rationale for published work.

You can provide feedback on our design principles via the community forum


GOLD Design System is governed by a Technical Steering Community.

Details can be read here.


GOLD Design System, previously known as Australian Government Design System, is not mandatory for Australian Government agencies.

However, we believe that it is the simplest, fastest and clearest way for agencies undergoing a service redesign to meet several criteria from the mandatory Digital Service Standard:

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