From an 18F Introductory Blog Post:
The U.S. Web Design Standards are the U.S. government’s very own set of common UI components and visual styles for websites. It’s a resource designed to make things easier for government designers and developers, while raising the bar on what the American people can expect from their digital experiences.
In the Web Design Standards, you will find:
- A visual style guide: Typography and color recommendations that are 508 compliant, flexible, and designed for readability and impact.
- Common UI components and patterns: A collection of foundational interface elements for government sites and the code that powers them.
In creating these tools, we set out to accomplish four goals:
- Make the best thing, the easiest thing. We believe that making tools that align with the values and needs of digital workers in the federal government will drive adoption.
- Be accessible out of the box. We created tools that seamlessly meet the standards of 508 accessibility, from colors to code.
- Design for flexibility. We aim to give the American people a sense of familiarity when using government services, while allowing agencies to customize these tools to fit their unique needs.
- Reuse, reuse, reuse. We reviewed, tested, evaluated, and repurposed existing patterns, code, and designs from dozens of government and private sector style guides to make use of tried-and-true best practices.
Direct to U.S. Web Design Standards (via CIO.gov)