Purpose, scope and development of the standard
Find out why and how we are developing the standard, the way it is intended to be used, and how you can help improve it.
Tell us what you think
We're seeking feedback from agencies, industry and the public to guide the development of the digital service design standard.
Improving government services in the digital age
The purpose of the standard is to provide the design thinking for anyone who designs or provides government services. It is intended to support the provision of public services, which are easily accessible, integrated, inclusive and trusted to all New Zealanders.
As a sector, the whole of government should move away from siloed and agency-centric services with low user community input, to more open, inclusive and co-designed services. These principles form the foundation of New Zealand Government’s shift to becoming more responsive, open, citizen-centric and user-focused.
The standard supports New Zealand’s role as one of the D7 leading digital nations.
Taking a collaborative design approach
Thank you to everyone who took the time to review our draft digital service design standard and provide us with such broad and considered feedback.
The standard drafting was informed through an open consultative approach. We engaged with key interest groups, to help produce a standard that will assist government to build and deliver excellent services for its citizens. We spoke to our stakeholder communities, from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, to come together and help define the standard’s principles and approach using the open source Loomio consultation tool. We reused the work done by our D7 partners in the UK, and Canada, as well as our partners in Australia.
With your help we adapted the standard to suit the needs of the New Zealand digital environment. We refer to our local standards and guidance, as well as international best practice. The standard provides an ‘umbrella’ approach, bringing together existing guidance and directives, and does not ‘re-invent the wheel’.
This is a ‘living standard’ and it will continue to be updated and evolve over time as we better understand the complexities involved in putting them into practice, and our collective maturity increases. We will seek and foster ongoing stakeholder engagement to provide input to help refine and improve this standard.
To provide input we will provide a range of channels, including keeping the Loomio consultation tool live.
We encourage any other public sector services to follow the standard even if they don’t fall within scope for assessment.
What services are covered?
The digital service design standard applies to New Zealand Government information and transactional services that are:
- public facing and/or inter-agency
- undertaken by third parties on behalf of government agencies
- new informational or transactional services (designed or redesigned after 30 June 2018)
- reviewing or redesigning existing services.
Information services are typically websites, or mobile applications, that provide information to the public. This information often includes reports, fact sheets and video.
Transactional services are any services that lead to a change in the records held by government. They typically involve an exchange of information, money, licenses or goods. Examples of transactional services include:
- submitting a claim
- registering a business
- updating contact details
- registering a birth.
How do we comply with the standard?
The standard will support agencies by bringing together unified and consistent guidance on the design, development and implementation of digital services to enable and drive system-wide benefits.
We have collated a suite of references, guidance resources and existing directives, which inform how agencies can demonstrate ways to conform to the standard. Wherever possible, we have referred to existing guidance and directives to build on our current best practice and mandates. However, our assessment model has not yet been established. We have undertaken an assessment of our current state in New Zealand, and an assessment of the international environment, to propose four discussion model options for our forthcoming assessment consultation process. These are:
- The standard is a discretionary resource to inform government agencies when designing services, with a suite of reference guidance supplied.
- The standard is a discretionary standard supported by a self-reported, self-assessment maturity model, with a suite of reference guidance supplied.
- The standard is a discretionary standard underpinned by a centrally-reported, self-assessment maturity model, and supported by centralised support resources.
- The standard has a centralised mandated governance model (e.g. design authority) and supporting conformance structures.
These discussion models are not final options; they are primarily a mechanism to stimulate debate and surface potential barriers, concerns and opportunities.
The standard itself is not intended to be published or read in isolation. Any decisions on assessment models will need to be considered within the context of broader, emerging government strategy, standards, and guidance, and/or any related ongoing digital and all-of-government initiatives.
Engagement and consultation of the assessment models for the standard will form the next phase of the standard development process.