User-Centered Principles at The State of Colorado

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What It Is

Design principles are foundational pieces of advice for making useful and user-friendly digital products and services for the State of Colorado.

Why It's Important

  • Sound design principles align people around what matters most. 
  • They create a shared understanding of successful human-centered services and resources for the State of Colorado and provide practical recommendations for product teams on how to achieve it.
  • Design principles act as standards for the product team and help them to measure their work.
  • They help designers find ways to improve usability, influence perception, increase appeal, teach users and make effective design decisions in projects.

How to Do It

We focus on our user's needs

We understand their emotions, feelings, and motivations rather than making assumptions about what they want. 


We add value and not features

Every piece of functionality and design we add has a purpose and adds value to people.


We make technology usable

Our digital experiences must be easy to use and the content findable. We strive to remove obstacles and provide obvious paths to user value.


We design for accessibility and inclusivity

We design technology for a diverse population; everything we build should be accessible, responsive, and inclusive. We sacrifice elegance over inclusiveness and readability.


We make our digital experiences credible

We take peoples’ privacy and agencies’ credibility seriously. We inspire trust through reliability, transparency, and user control.


We design with data

We embrace data-driven decision-making. We make sure analytics are built-in and accessible to everyone on the team.


We collaborate

We approach problems together. We listen, we understand and we encourage input from team members with varied backgrounds and viewpoints in order to enable breakthrough insights and solutions.


We test and iterate

We are aware that our solutions are assumptions unless they are tested with real users. We test assumptions, learn and improve our ideas.


We learn from failure

We celebrate the learning that comes from failure, embrace setbacks as opportunities, and allow each other to make mistakes. We learn, iterate, and grow from them.