The most important quality of the design principles was that the GDS didn’t publish or even draft them until we’d done quite a lot of designing. Writing down the principles didn’t precede delivery, they were written as a result of delivery. Moreover, they weren’t written by the ‘leadership’. They were written by a team with lots of actual designers working alongside a wide variety of other experts. The principles sat behind all the best things the team delivered, and helped the digital team avoid the trap of being drawn into reactive firefighting.
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