Digital Service Standards

For our government-affiliated projects, Digital Garden adheres to the Australian Government Digital Service Standards best-practice principles for delivering outstanding simple and clear services.

1. Understand the user needs - Usable systems and enjoyable brand experiences require an attuned understanding of user goals, behaviours and motivations. We take a methodical approach that is driven by human-computer interaction (HCI) theory and academic standards of ethnographic research. This ensures we are objective, granular and critical in our approach to UX and needs mapping.

2. Have a multidisciplinary team - Our projects span the research, design and development activities and our team reflects this diversity of skills. Our Developers excel in Drupal, GovCMS and .NET implementations. Our Designers span Service, UI and UX design. Our Product Owners, Project Managers and Scrum Masters keep projects on track and remove blockers. Our Testers ensure high quality for our project outcomes.

3. Agile and user centred process - As a design agency, our work requires that we merge methodologies like Agile Scrum, with design philosophies like Design Thinking. Both share as their central tenet a need to properly interpret the user’s true needs and design solutions that solve validated problems. Coupling this with a priority for rapid ideation and feedback makes sure we focus our efforts on value-adding features. 

4. Understand tools and systems - We have previously built out, hosted and maintained websites for the public sector, often adapting to analytics systems already in place (like HotJar) or recommending systems based on the needs of the client. Most recently, we engaged the Department of Industry in the Design and Development of a GovCMS site as a SaaS implementation.

5. Make it secure - After go-live we patch all of our websites, keeping core code and any modules (where used) up-to date, and secure. We also host with Government approved PaaS hosting providers such as GovCMS, Acquia & Platform.sh. 

6. Consistent and responsive design - We design using a mobile first approach, which helps our UX designers create a consistent experience across all devices.  We also use component based design principles, and implement style guides,  which allows us to design many screens that are easy to maintain and update.

7. User open standards & common platforms - Digital Garden collaborates with its clients for deliveries and feedback using open standards and common cloud-based platforms such as Axure, Confluence, Jira, Sketch, Google Docs, and InVision. For development, we use common platforms and technologies such as Drupal, Umbraco and Git.

8. Embracing open-source code - We pride ourselves on engaging with and furthering open source technology, such as Drupal or Umbraco on which we build our websites. Many of our developers are active contributors of their coding communities.

9. Make it accessible - We begin projects with an accessible GovCMS PaaS distribution as a basis. From there, when building custom application websites for Government, we're rigorous in making sure our sites meet accessibility requirements (WCAG 2.0 Level AA or AAA as required).dedicated testing team. 

11. Measure performance - A key focus of our efforts in user-research and stakeholder meetings is to establish a clear picture of where things stand now and what goals are set to meet future needs. From there we identify metrics that can accurately reflect both user-centric goals (e.g. usability, satisfaction) and business-centric goals (e.g. sales, traffic, task-completion) to objectively gauge the success of the project. 

12. Don’t forget the non-digital experience - Your customers’ and users’ interactions with your organisation don’t necessarily begin and end with a digital product. Brand perception, findability, sales assistance, change management, care and support, maintenance and relationship management all provide perfect examples of why companies should be thinking more broadly about which touchpoints improve or hinder their attempts to engage with customers.

13. Encourage everyone to use the service - Even the most well-planned of products and experiences can meet with market failure. A good market strategy, one that is adapted during the course of the project, can cater to both new and existing customers. We can assist you by making recommendations that cater to all phases of the product lifecycle, whether that requires minimising the impacts of loss aversion or improving the chances of feature adoption.