What's new - Blog posts

Posts by the service manual team and community.

Blog posts from 2020

  • Building great digital services during a crisis

    Lucy Ha, Product and Delivery Management Graduate, explains how the NHS digital service manual is helping organisations quickly build accessible, consistent digital products and services needed to respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

  • Making the NHS.UK focus state accessible (with help from GOV.UK)

    The NHS is for everyone, so all NHS digital services need to be accessible to everyone. That's why the NHS digital service manual team recently made the NHS.UK frontend more accessible by redesigning the focus state styles — with help from the GOV.UK Design System team. Dave Hunter, designer, explains.

  • Making digital services more inclusive

    The NHS digital service manual helps teams make their services more respectful and inclusive. But it’s not always easy to get it right as Sara Wilcox, the content designer on the team, explains.

Blog posts from 2019

  • More serene: two and a half years into my work at NHS Digital — part 3

    Matt Edgar rounds off his reflections, with a look at the NHS Long Term Plan, his objectives for the next 6 months, and a nod back to the beginnings of the NHS.

  • How to write good questions

    The NHS digital service manual team has published some new forms guidance that will help digital health teams design better forms and transactional services. Content designer Sara Wilcox explains how and why it was done.

  • Building a diverse design team in challenging circumstances

    Growing a diverse team, from a profession which is not diverse, in an environment where your profession is not fully accepted, with tools and processes which can exclude, is a huge challenge. By Dean Vipond

  • The NHS digital service manual needs you

    Ben Cullimore, a senior interaction designer at NHS.UK, explains how we’re developing a collaborative approach to building the service manual and how the team particularly wants designers to get involved.

  • Making digital services accessible

    How do you make sure that NHS digital services are accessible to all? Ian Roddis, Lead Product Manager for the NHS digital service manual, talks about the new guidelines his team has developed to help people working in digital delivery teams meet accessibility standards in time for September 2020’s deadline.

  • Creating new standards of design with the NHS website

    One of our NHS design principles is, “Make things open, it makes things better.” Dean Vipond, lead designer on the NHS website, talks about how adapting GOV.UK’s code saved valuable resources during the recent redesign and how this flagship project is now benefitting other teams across the NHS, including 111 online.

  • Bravo GDS on the new Service Standard that ensures and assures quality, might we talk about health?

    With the latest iteration of the GDS service standard now covering full, end-to-end (not just digital) services, I’ve been thinking about how it might work when applied in a healthcare setting, and if it can be combined with other healthcare assurance models. By Ian Roddis.

  • Icons: avoid temptation and start with user needs

    Icons can be a useful way to represent ideas simply. Ben Cullimore, an interaction designer explains how they decided on the most effective icons to use.

  • Building accessible and mobile-first services for the NHS

    After we relaunched the NHS website last August, we needed a way of sharing what we learnt with other digital teams to help them build accessible, mobile-first products and services too. David Hunter, an interaction designer explains how we did this.

  • The path of user needs, avoiding beautiful nonsense, and the shelves of wisdom

    At work we like a good metaphor, even more so if we can tweet about it in an abstract fashion without revealing too much of the inner workings of our professional lives. So this post is going to freely use a couple of metaphors to put in context the brilliant work we’ve been doing on a frontend library and prototyping kit we hope will be used heavily across the health system. By Ian Roddis.

  • The role of standards in a fragmented ecosystem

    I’ve been thinking about the role of standards, and how they can help in the complex sector I’m working in — that of health in England. By Ian Roddis.

  • Pee and poo and the language of health

    How do we decide which words to use on the NHS website? Sara Wilcox, content designer with NHS.UK’s standards team, explains.

Blog posts from 2018

Get in touch

If you’ve got a question about the NHS digital service manual or want to feedback, get in touch.