About the Digital Standards Framework

How to build your skills and work within the Victorian Government Digital Standards Framework.

The WoVG Digital Standards Framework was endorsed by the Victorian Secretaries Board in July 2017, and by each Victorian Government department's and Victoria Police's Chief Information Officer and Senior Communications Executive. The Framework is Victoria's central reference for digital best practice, and where they apply, mandatory standards.

The Framework's focus is to make best practice for digital easier to discover, understand and implement across the Victorian Public Service. The WoVG Digital Standards Framework is now best practice for you as a Victorian Government digital services practitioner.

The digital standards framework is made up of:

  • 12 Digital Design Principles
  • how-to guides covering all Victorian Government digital activities
  • a range of mandatory standards comprising legal obligations, policy requirements, and industry standards
  • your Digital Management Committee (or its local equivalent) are responsible for the Framework's governance

The framework and its standards apply to both external and internal digital assets

The framework and its standards cover external digital assets, for example websites, social media accounts, mobile apps. They also apply to 'internal' digital assets, for example, intranets and applications.

The 12 Digital Design Principles for best practice

We’ve developed these 12 Digital Design Principles for creating best-practice, user friendly digital services. They should inform all the work you do.

The government’s digital presence should be:

  1. Easy to use: Make digital the first choice for our customers.
  2. Simple: Leads directly to the most used services and information.
  3. Available: 24/7 access.
  4. Useful: Designed to solve problems.
  5. Consistent: Works the same way for common functions, like data collection.
  6. Joined together: Integrated between agencies.
  7. Mobile: Designed for mobile and tablet first.
  8. Complete: Support customers to complete activities online, without manual steps.
  9. Clear: Use clear, active language.
  10. Fast: Quick to submit, and provide an efficient end-to-end service.
  11. Aware of history: Able to provide a record of past interactions where appropriate.
  12. Aware of user: Able to use known information from previous interactions with government.

(Source: Information Technology Strategy, Victorian Government 2016-2020)

Your Digital Management Committee (or equivalent) are responsible for governance

Your Digital Management Committee or its equivalent (for example, a Digital Reference Group), share the responsibility for the governance of the Digital Standards Framework. The Terms of Reference document explains how governance works in detail.

How-to guides created by subject matter experts and experienced practitioners

Subject matter experts in the VPS and industry practitioners have written the How-to guides. They’ve been extensively reviewed, including by industry experts. We’ve tried to keep everything straightforward and practical.

That’s one reason you won’t see a separate set of documents for standards and guidelines. The How-to guides blend what you must do (the standards) with what you should do (best practice ) – all in one document.

Provide feedback through Yammer

We want to keep the ‘oxygen of creativity’ circulating in these guides. So use the Yammer WoVG Digital Group to ask questions, and suggest better ways of working (there’s a deep pool of talented digital practitioners in the VPS to help you). If you think you can make the guides even better, Yammer is your rooftop to shout it from.

How will these guides help?

Ask the right questions when you start work

A manager asks you to start some work, often in less time than you’d like. The pressure is on to ask the right questions, and get it right the first time – even if you haven’t done that kind of project or task before.

You may need several How-to guides for one task

For some tasks it’s easy to choose the best How-to guide (for example, How-to design forms ). Or it might be not so easy.

For example, to build a website with financial transactions that meets accessibility, security, and record keeping requirements (and above all, intelligently and genuinely responds to its users’ needs), is no small task. The complete list of How-to guides will help you put your thoughts in order.

Each how-to guide says what standards you must meet

Some of your work as a digital practitioner in WoVG must comply with either an external legal obligation or an internal policy, or both. You won’t be able to say ‘it’s done’ until you meet these. So we’ve tried to make what’s mandatory obvious and clear. So each How-to guide has a section ‘What standards must be met’.

Helping you set the standard for best practice digital in WoVG

Sometimes you’ll be asked to do some work in a way that might not be best practice. Refer the person making the request to the How-to guide or the 12 Digital Design Standards.

They will help clarify how we work, and what we can and can’t do in an ICT environment where high standards and putting our users first are now the expected norm. Check what standards apply for every How-to guide:

The quick-reference table (below) lists all the how to guides, and which we recommend you use at each stage of a digital asset's lifecycle.

Quick reference: When to use each How-to guide

How-to guide title When you research, design, or build a new digital presence When you refresh or manage an already live digital presence When you decommission a digital presence
How to make websites and content accessible yes yes
How to build an Application Programming Interface (API) yes
How to design and develop a digital presence yes
How to apply for and manage a domain name yes yes yes
How to do online financial transactions yes yes
How to design forms yes yes
How to decide if you need a mobile app yes
How to publish a government open-data set yes
How to test an online product or service yes yes
How to manage online records yes yes yes
How to measure performance yes yes
How to manage privacy yes yes
How to manage security yes yes
How to do research user experience (UX) research yes yes
How to apply Brand Victoria yes yes
How to build a content strategy and manage content yes yes yes
How to consult online yes yes
How to manage content for a caretaker government or change of government yes yes yes
How to manage ministerial content yes yes yes
How to use social media yes yes yes

Reviewed 25 October 2018

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Department of Premier and Cabinet