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Gov.uk not quite so keen on Gov.ux

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Recently, the UK Government released the Digital by Default Service Standard, designed to ensure that all new gov.uk services are "so good that people prefer to use them". It’s a very noble cause, and few would argue that the gov.uk sites rolled out over the last few years are a vast improvement on their predecessors.

One of many areas the site gives advice on is on the makeup of the team required to build a service that meets the standard:

The right team needs to be in place to deliver a digital by default service. Teams are multidisciplinary, meet regularly, and often work close together to deliver rapid iterations of user-centred products.

It goes on to suggest a core team should consist of a product managers, delivery managers, technical leads, designers, developers, content people, etc, etc. UX isn’t mentioned, although they do include "the support of some user research expertise" as a desirable facet.

What designers do and what to look for mentions that designers and developers should work together, designing in the browser, and suggests that people putting together teams ask to see examples of work. All great.

However, the next piece of advice is less admirable:

Avoid CVs that emphasise the terms ‘ux’ and ‘creative’. Especially avoid ‘creative directors’. These people are probably not a good fit for your team.

There is no explanation of why these are terms to be avoided, nor a list of alternatives which might be more desirable. However, the implication is that people who claim to do ‘UX’, or be ‘creative’ are undesirables, charlatans who will add little value to the team or the project.

Actually, we would expect that a large percentage people who would be perfect for gov.uk projects would place these terms prominently on their CV, and would want to be thought of as creative, and UX focused. Eliminating these people from a shortlist for describing themselves in this way is therefore probably not in your best interest.

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