Digital guides

Making best practice for digital easier to discover, understand and implement across the Victorian Government.


New guide: protect privacy

Understand how to protect privacy when designing, building and managing a digital service.

Take a look

The digital guides aim to make best practice for digital easier to discover, understand and implement across the Victorian Public Service. The digital guides were formally known as the digital standards.

The digital guides are best practice for you as a Victorian Government digital services practitioner.

The digital guides were endorsed by:

  • the Victorian Secretaries Board
  • Each Victorian Government department's Chief Information Officer (CIO)
  • Victoria Police's CIO and Senior Communications Executive

The digital guides are Victoria's central reference for digital best practice and mandatory standards.

The digital guides are supported by 12 digital design principles.

Your Digital Management Committee (or its local equivalent) are responsible for governing the digital guides.

The digital guides apply to both external and internal digital assets

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

Digital design principles

We’ve developed principles for creating best-practice, user friendly digital services. They should inform all the work you do.

The government’s digital presence should be:

Easy to use: Make digital the first choice for our customers.

Simple: Leads directly to the most used services and information.

Available: 24/7 access.

Useful: Designed to solve problems.

Consistent: Works the same way for common functions, like data collection.

Joined together: Integrated between agencies.

Mobile: Designed for mobile and tablet first.

Complete: Support customers to complete activities online, without manual steps.

Clear: Use clear, active language.

Fast: Quick to submit, and provide an efficient end-to-end service.

Aware of history: Able to provide a record of past interactions where appropriate.

Aware of user: Able to use known information from previous interactions with government.

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 guides. 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 helped write the digital 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 digital guides blend what you must do (the standards) with what you should do (best practice ) – all in one document.

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 digital guides for one task

For some tasks it’s easy to choose the best digital guide (for example, design forms - digital guide). 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 digital guides (on the right hand side of this page, or at the bottom of the page if you're on mobile) will help you put your thoughts in order.

Each digital 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 digital 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 digital guide or the 12 digital design principles.

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 digital guide:

Reviewed 20 July 2020

Join the conversation on digital

Get advice and share your insights about this topic with other digital practitioners on the WoVG Digital Group on Yammer (VPS access only).

Can’t access Yammer? Contact us by email: (We may post your comment on Yammer for general discussion. Please tell us if that’s not OK.)

Join the Yammer Digital Group
Was this page helpful?