We recently contributed to the ‘Ask users for bank details’ pattern to the GOV.UK Design System, as a team of three: content designer (Amanda Kerry), interaction designer (Adam Silver) and user researcher (Gemma Hutley).
Earlier this year, we worked on the Children’s funeral fund service, where people use this service to claim back costs, so providing bank details was a really important part. While designing this service, we looked at the GOV.UK Design System backlog to see how other services ask users for their bank details. There were lots of examples and they were all slightly different.
After we launched the service, Adam suggested that we should continue to work on the pattern and contribute it to the GOV.UK Design System.
The GOV.UK Design System is maintained by GDS but relies on contributions from across government to make sure it’s representative and relevant for its users.
Working on the children’s funeral fund service, we spent a lot of time researching and getting the bank details pages right, but if a pattern had been there we could have spent more time on other issues we had to tackle.
Kick off—scoping the pattern
We met up with Amy Hupe and Dave House in the Design System team at GDS to discuss if we needed to decide whether the pattern would be ‘helping users get paid’ or ‘asking users for their bank details’.
We went with the latter because it was more aligned in size and scope with the patterns already in the GOV.UK Design System.
With very little time to conduct much of our own research with users on this pattern, our plan was to gather research from other people’s services across MoJ, HMRC, DWP and GOV.UK Pay. Because of this, we decided to propose the pattern as experimental, which means more research is needed to validate it.
We worked together to research and design the solution, but split up for the following tasks:
- Gemma was collecting other people’s research.
- Adam focused on the pattern itself and added it to the GOV.UK Design System source code on Github.
- Amanda wrote the guidance.
We put everything into a Google Document, which is a great tool for this because it’s easy to comment and make suggestions.
After a few days of gathering research, writing guidance and designing the interface, we had a number of comments remaining in the Google Document, so the three of us met up in person to go through each point. We resolved most of them within the hour. For the ones still left to do, we assigned ourselves as owners to follow up.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has its own design system. It has a working group of frontend developers, researchers and designers who review components and patterns. So we shared the bank details pattern with them and put their feedback into the guidance.
Before the pattern was sent to the GOV.UK Design System working group, we met up with Amy and Dave again to get the GOV.UK Design System team’s feedback.
They had a few questions about some of our decisions and research behind it but apart from one content tweak, there was nothing to change and the feedback was very positive.
Working group review
Amy sent off the pattern to the working group for their feedback and each member reviewed the pattern against certain criteria. Based on that, they decide whether the pattern can be published as it is, or if the contributors must address certain recommendations before it can be published.
The working group had lots of useful recommendations, but none of the feedback blocked publication.
After the review, we met up with Amy and Dave to decide which of the recommendations we should address before publication. Following this, the guidance had a final check by someone who wasn’t as familiar with the content before the pattern went live.
Share your experience
We found this process really positive and would encourage everyone to contribute where they can.
There were times where we felt that we didn’t know enough about the pattern or that it wasn’t perfect, but the cross-government community we worked with were so open, supportive and constructive in their feedback. It really is worth just giving it a go!