DSS is a set of standards to guide agencies in implementing their digital services, and ensuring a good level of usability and accessibility. It aims to further raise the standards of our government digital services so that they are designed to be accessible, usable and inclusive. DSS will be published later in 2018, and it will replace the current WIS.  When effective, all government digital services must meet the DSS.  

DSS is currently in beta version, and key highlights are as follows. 

1. Accessibility
Government services should be “digital to the core”, by providing users with an end-to-end digital option.  Digital services should be accessible anytime and anywhere. By adopting a responsive design, digital services will be easy to browse and use, regardless of whether the user accesses it from a laptop, tablet or smartphone.  For instant recognition and contemporary look of government digital services, a new masthead will also be adopted.

2. Usability 
Digital services must be easy to use without having the users to repeat information.  For instance, digital services should tap on existing platforms such as MyInfo, to help users save time by automatically filling up government digital forms.   

Digital services should also allow for easy finding and discovery of information, prominently feature the key services and have clear calls-to-action.  By providing similar user interface elements and features that the users need, digital services will provide users with a consistent digital experience in interacting with the government.  Examples include having a good search, error messages that are displayed intuitively, contextual self-help and useful assistance to guide users.  

3. Inclusion
Digital services must be usable to as many potential users as possible, including people with special needs.  We embrace the Web Content Accessibility Standards (WCAG) published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).  This is a globally adopted standard to ensure web content accessibility to different users.  This includes meeting a minimum contrast ratio and having descriptive text alternatives to images and videos so that the digital services can be used with assistive technologies, such as speech readers.

We also align with local industry standards such as SPRING’s Guidelines on User Interface Design for Older Adults (SS618) that aims to further enhance the online user experience of our websites.  

In addition, digital services should be delivered in common language (English, and any additional languages that better serve target users), and have useful, relevant and easy-to-understand content.  This includes writing the content concisely in simple language and highlighting the important content, so that users can easily understand.