Though we started out with the question, “How might we increase adoption of USWDS across the government?,” our interviews with agency teams and thought-leaders raised other thought-provoking questions, such as: “Should agencies even be responsible for building and maintaining all of their own websites?” “Is scaling the design system across about 1,200 domains and 9,000 federal websites 1 the right goal, or could we provide an improved public experience with fewer, better websites overall?”

These questions prompted us to start thinking about a blue-sky vision for how USWDS continues to evolve over time as part of a changing digital services landscape, which we’ve captured in our North Star vision.

In the meantime, there are also clear opportunities for TTS to continue investing in being a good partner to agencies and providing USWDS and other shared services that support an accessible, useful, and continuous digital experience for the public. This is our Near Star vision, which we’ve broken down into clear, achievable goals with some initial ideas for how to achieve them.

Near Star vision & next steps

Vision statement

Agency teams have what they need to more easily adopt and effectively use the design system.

In this Near Star vision, all agencies…

  • Rely on and have confidence in the design system as the go-to trusted resource for helping them create exceptional digital experiences

  • Can quickly and easily start using the design system and understand how its capabilities and features integrate into their unique contexts

  • Can identify and access the right team, skill sets, and resources to successfully increase their design maturity

  • Are active participants in building and growing the design system as contributors, not bystanders

  • Are well-equipped to iteratively develop and sustain ongoing design and development of their digital services over time

How do we get there?

We’ve identified specific opportunity areas that will move us closer to a design system that meets the needs of teams across every agency. Working toward this vision is our way of ensuring the design system continues to change over time and stays connected to the teams that are using it.

  1. Improve strategic communications and engagement with key audiences

  2. Provide more robust guidance and support to get started with the design system

  3. Better leverage related efforts within the Technology Transformation Services (TTS) and broader government digital services community

We’ll provide regular updates on our progress in monthly calls, the public Slack channel, and the product roadmap.


  1. Dotgov Data - List of federal .gov domains. (n.d.). Retrieved January 06, 2021, from