White Label - Council Website

Full Application: Not funded at this stage

Web site and service design is a resource intensive and costly exercise across local authorities. Many authorities lack resources to do the work in house, relying on third party suppliers and products to plug the gaps. Providing standardised and thoroughly tested user interface designs considerably lowers the barriers for in-house developers, particularly in organisations that lack niche skills like UX design and user testing.

The GDS roadmap highlights the need for the GDS Design System to make it easier for services that don’t look like GOV.UK to use the Design System and to extend it to include other components (as listed on the GDS backlog).

We would like to work with GDS and partners to investigate how the Design System could be further extended to produce a ‘white label’ Design System to help open it up to local authorities, and how the code could be maintained and distributed, versioned etc. This could also include existing components already developed or used that could be adapted as candidates for the Design System.

This approach could significantly lower the costs (or avoid costs) of other authorities approaching their website design in this way.

This standard approach also gives citizens a level of confidence that they are dealing with a reputable organisation.


The project team will identify the key deliverables, develop a project plan and estimate  effort required over each work element. The team lead will assign one or more resources to execute mutually agreed tasks. The project team will take advantage of the available collaboration tools and other communication technologies to progress seamlessly despite being widely distributed, geographically.

The team will join weekly meetings over voice / video to discuss the progress and issues to ensure the deliveries are on schedule. Should there be any slippage, the team lead will re-assign and re-prioritise the related work packages as necessary.


This project will deliver artefacts in publishable form as a collaborative outcome by end of March 2019. In the process of development, the outputs will undergo several iterations. A quality checked, final version will be published at the end.

The project will be led by the collaborative councils. Additional external resources will be added as required.

Some of the key events and delivery milestones are as follows:

  • Initiation Kick-Off Meeting agreeing A Project Plan
  • Second Team Meeting agreeing Terms of Reference
  • Work Allocation of agreed tasks across lead and collaborators
  • Sprint I – Three sequential activities will deliver
    • Draft Business requirements / use case reports & business case
    • Comparison of  existing design frameworks to GDS to identify opportunities / commanality
    • Produce Draft Project documentation, extend or add supplementary modules & libraries to share
  • Sprint II – Review Cycle Begins
    • Produce style guide / open source components
  • Amendments from Review delivering final Documents
  • Publication of Documents as committed
  • Project Conclusion Meeting

This solution will

  • Reduce the need to re-implement and retest components and designs
  • Improve accessibility and usability through the use of tested components
  • Reduce the cost of in-house user research and end user testing
  • Improve the customer experience

By making the relevant code and standards available other authorities should be able to make progress on redesign of their websites quicker and with more confidence in their application.

Leeds have already developed products for web content management and form designs at LCC and they has been well received within the sector and by GDS example at www.leeds.gov.uk 

This approach will produce a more flexible version of the GDS Design System to allow easier branding and customisation of layouts and components. This would make it easier to use adapt across different authorities and development platforms.

Following discussions with partner organisations there will be learning to share to take the project further through the alpha phase.



We will work jointly with Hackney and the GDS to develop of a more flexible GDS Design System that can be easily badged and customised by local authorities that speeds up development for in house teams. This would include more flexible design components (e.g. SASS files and layouts that are simpler t to rebrand) as well as an increased component catalogue including common items.

We will

  • Compare what hackney and Leeds have done so far
  • Look for common patterns/gaps
  • Feed this into the current GDS Design System
  • Design and prototype additions, modifications etc.
  • Apply this to a variety of use cases.

This will then be relevant to all local authorities across the country as all provide an online presence to citizens and this will enable them to do this in an easier, more consistent way.

A Benefit Case:

This document will classify the most significant and common use cases of the Local Authorities resulting from the review against GDS Service Design. This will also assess associated total estimated cost of this problem at a local (and national) scale, missed opportunities, potential risks and their impacts.


A User Research Report


This report will identify what kind of solution the users will look forward to fix the issues identified above. This will define the scope of the solution and set a direction of travel to develop the architecture vision of the proposed solution.


A Project Conclusion:

In this artefact, the project will identify and outline with options and recommendations, highlighting their merits, weaknesses and business benefits. The project conclusion document will have necessary level of details to serve as a foundation for a future alpha project to build and deploy a revised design system.

 The documents will be developed using collaborative tools by the contributors  with necessary version control. The artefacts will be reviewed diligently to ensure they meet quality standards to be published at national level.


The users for this project will be other authorities.  We will need to work with a number of those through the GDS network which already exists to ensure the solution is fit for purpose.

Working with others will ensure that a solution meets the needs of all organisations across the sector.

We will determine how to undertake the user research in consultation with GDS.

None identified

None allocated in the past.