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About the Design System

It can be challenging to connect government services to Californians who need them most. We have to consider a wide range of experiences, abilities, education, and technical literacy. With the State of California’s Design System, we help make digital information and services easier to use. The Design System increases equity, unity, compassion, and trust.

Our vision

Create a seamless digital experience for Californians to access the services they need.

Our mission

Build a design system that empowers state government to develop accessible, equitable, and inclusive digital products and services.


The Design System is being brought to you with the sponsorship and support from the Governor’s Office, Government Operations Agency, the California Department of Technology, and the Office of Digital Innovation.

Leveraging the efforts of three pivotal digital contributions, we reflect on the journey that led us here and look to a bright future.

The beginning

The first state websites started out as a place for people to download forms. We’ve come a long way and continue to evolve to meet people’s needs.

Over the years, and with each state template release, we’ve improved the access of online government services with:

  • Clearer navigation
  • Responsive design elements
  • Web accessibility
  • Improved performance


Alpha was the first effort to reimagine how government understands, builds and provides digital services. The primary goal was to create a better digital experience for all Californians. The Alpha team adopted agile principles allowing them to quickly iterate on feedback while blogging their story out in the open.


In response to the pandemic, the team developed the COVID-19 emergency response website. The team collaborated with the HHS Office of Innovation and the California Department of Technology.

Developed as California’s source of truth in the battle against the coronavirus, the team created a scalable website. It was accessible, stable, and easy to update in a fast changing public health crisis. And it was built in four days!

The team also broadened the definition of accessibility for state government. Reimagining performance as accessibility, Alpha considers performance as a core component of accessibility.

The future

The Design System is an open source project. With it, the team hopes to partner with the broader digital community and continue to make it better. We will continue to build in the open and leverage best practices that use the power of digital to deliver services. For these efforts, state websites will rise to the challenge to better serve the people in California.