Design Principles

These are the guiding principles that inform our design decisions.

The components, pages, and websites we create should be:


Design should reinforce the meaning of content, not distract from it. We prioritize worthwhile communication over decoration. If an aspect of the design doesn’t enhance the content, we should remove it.


Our designs must adapt to changing conditions. Components in this design system should accommodate some unpredictability and not impose too many restrictions. There will be different types and amounts of content, different window sizes, and different layouts. Choose flexibility over precision.

Accessible to all

We create sites to welcome the widest possible audience, free of obstacles. Be mindful of the broad range of human abilities and disabilities, as well as the variety of devices, browsers, and networks people use to access our sites.


Our sites serve a global audience and should translate well across nations, cultures, and languages. Green might not always mean go, symbols and idioms have very different meanings to different people, fonts and text will vary and reflow. Plan for a wide reach and design for localization.


We strive to meet the real needs of the people visiting our sites. At the same time we must meet our own needs as site creators. Any component in this design system should prove useful or it doesn’t belong here.