HealthCare.gov Living Styleguide

In the absence of consistent style guidelines, even the best websites and applications will erode over time.

The creation of a styleguide (the fundamental governing document of all good design), is a critical first step in the success of any brand, large or small.

Problem:

The scale of HealthCare.gov, with its many contributing partners and contractors, poses an enormous and ongoing challenge for CMS to provide a consistent and coherent consumer experience.

Aquilent recognized the need for a set of standards to govern visual design and presentation layer code, not just on the website itself, but on outlying web properties and social media platforms used for campaign efforts and consumer outreach.

Solution:

To meet this challenge, Aquilent assembled a diverse team of key experts, including art directors, user experience (UX) experts and technical leads, to create a living styleguide for HealthCare.gov. Aquilent led the effort to form a governance committee that included input from 18F, a digital services agency built on the “Lean Startup Model,” a methodology now integral to the United States federal government.

Success:

CMS successfully released the styleguide to the public as an open-source tool and is currently receiving feedback and suggestions from the GitHub community. With more than a half dozen partners working on HealthCare.gov, consumer outreach and other campaign efforts, the HealthCare.gov living styleguide has enabled the consumer experience to remain seamless and consistent no matter the communication channel.