Inclusive Design

Regardless of technology or platform, the lenses of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility reflected within the inclusive design pattern library can help digital teams striving to build a better understanding of the people we serve, engage them in our work, and deliver simple, seamless, and secure customer experiences that meet all of us where we are.

Like the USWDS design principles, the USWDS inclusive design pattern library supports and reflects the guidance codified in Section 508, the 21st Century IDEA and is in service of the Biden-Harris administration’s President’s Management Agency (PMA) Priority 2 Executive Order, Delivering Excellent, Equitable, and Secure Federal Services and Customer Experience, Executive Order 13985, Advancing an Equitable Government and Executive Order 13166, Improving Access to Services for People with Limited English Proficiency.

These design patterns seek to help teams across government align on a common goal of creating inclusive, equitable digital experiences the American public expects and deserves, while being respectful of the variety of personal and life experiences the people we serve bring to their experience of the benefits, services, and programs digital teams deliver for all Americans.

What does it mean to consider digital interactions through the lens of DEIA?

Designers all over the world are applying inclusive design principles to their work, creating more equitable experiences that work for everyone. Every day, practitioners are learning more about how inclusivity and equity need to be reflected in their work. The Inclusive Design Pattern team was no different.

  • Diversity in design is about making sure all people are represented.
  • Equity in design addresses the unique barriers people experience, creating fairer experiences.
  • Inclusivity in design cultivates a sense of belonging and feeling valued.
  • Accessibility ensures that all people can understand and enjoy digital experiences.

Developing patterns through the lens of DEIA also means that we need to acknowledge that as we grow and learn, patterns, too will need to change and evolve. The guiding principles of inclusive design, however, will remain a touchstone.

Recognize the full range of human diversity


The power of diversity comes to life when we respect and value the life experiences, cultural differences, and diverse perspectives that differentiate us as individuals and groups.

Key considerations

From team composition to co-designing with our customers, taking an equitable approach means reimagining how we research, design, and deliver digital services, particularly with underserved or marginalized communities.

Protect your users


Improved control over personal identity benefits all, but provides the greatest benefit for people in marginalized populations

Key considerations

The effects of inequitable experiences in people’s lives can be visceral and severe.



Celebrating, valuing, and respecting the diverse perspectives and lived experiences of others fosters a more positive, open-minded, and productive team.

Key considerations

Being equitable means seeking out and inviting users with disparate voices and life experiences to participate with us and guide our decisions–consciously and intentionally redistributing power as we build with and not for our users.