USWDS is a product with significant customer service and community aspects. To meet agency teams where they are, the design system needs to be easily understood by a variety of audiences. There are opportunities to develop outreach initiatives and website content that more effectively communicate the value of the design system, while continuing to invest in the community that’s essential for the design system’s growth as a good-for- government resource.

Reach new customers and leadership

To accomplish this, we recommend increasing outreach and targeted communications to new customers and agency leadership with these opportunities.

Produce marketing materials

Create specific resources and marketing materials to help teams get buy-in and communicate the value to their agency leadership and other stakeholders

Understand the value

Develop FAQs

Develop new content and communications materials that proactively address the common questions and misconceptions of potential customers

Understand the value
Know how to get started

Create robust documentation

Provide even more detail on the research behind each component to encourage data-driven design and help agency teams understand and explain why decisions were made

Understand the value
Know how to get started

Engage existing customers

We also recommend expanding engagement with existing customers and empowering them to grow with the design system over time with these opportunities.

Increase modes for community engagement

Create opportunities beyond individual consults, monthly calls, and the USWDS public Slack channel with things like design critiques, ideating in small groups, meet-ups, or lunch-and-learns, etc.

Feel engaged

Evolve design system based on agency needs

Conduct research to understand agency needs and inform the development of new components, similar to the recent emergency response research that led to the release of 11 new components (e.g., a component to support syndicated content, more flexible components to accommodate multilingual content, etc.)

Iteratively improve

Work across communities of practice

Adopt more robust processes from across communities of practice such as focusing events on certain topics or questions (how to assemble the right team, ensuring a smooth design system upgrade, etc.)

Feel engaged

Encourage community contribution

Provide better guidance about how to contribute customizations back in to the community and explore ways to get agency-created components approved by USWDS

Feel engaged
Iteratively improve

Cultivate network of experts

Cultivate a more robust network of design system experts to help guide agency teams through adoption

Find the right team

Share maturity rubric

Provide shared benchmarks to help agencies identify strengths and areas of improvement

Know how to get started

Building momentum

In November 2020, the USWDS team presented a webinar hosted by the CIO Council’s 508 subcommittee to share the purpose, value, and how-to’s of the design system. After the webinar, the 326 attendees (from both in and outside of the federal government) were asked if they would seek additional information about the design system after having attended the event — 69 percent of them reported they strongly agreed or agreed. Hosting more webinars or events in connection with others working in digital fields across government will help to bolster engagement around the design system. (2020 Evaluation Summary, Section 508 Best Practices Webinar)