Just because it’s the government

Just because it’s the government

Last week I managed to find the time to attend Cool Content in Brighton, part of the impressive Brighton Digital Festival. And I’m glad I did. Focused on looking to the future it’s a half-day event for people who work with digital content and want to share ideas with their fellow content professionals. I got the feeling we might one day be at something much much bigger and say ‘Hey, remember the first one of these?’.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. These events represent fantastic brainfood. Even if it’s half a great idea that comes out of it that’s worth every bit of time and effort attending. As diverse and inspiring each of the presentations were the one that made a lasting impression was that given by Paul Annett and Tim Paul of the Government Digital Service. That will be no surprise to those of you who know me.

Ten guiding principles to guide the delivery of government digital stuff

  1. Start with needs*
  2. Do less
  3. Design with data
  4. Do the hard work to make it simple
  5. Iterate. Then iterate again
  6. Build for inclusion
  7. Understand context
  8. Build digital services, not websites
  9. Be consistent, not uniform
  10. Make things open: it makes things better

(*user needs not government needs)

For those of you that have anything to do with spending public money on ‘doing digital’, I urge you to take a look at the principles in more detail. They make so much sense. It was nice too to see some of the guys I work with inspired by what was said.  Just because it’s government doesn’t mean it has to be anything less than brilliant.