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Getting started with design.va.gov

This site provides design guidelines and code to help you quickly create trustworthy, accessible, and consistent digital services on the VA.gov platform. Its primary audience includes designers, content writers, and front-end developers who work on VA.gov.

Here are some relevant guides to get started for:

About Formation

Throughout this site, you will see references to Formation. Formation is VA.gov’s front-end framework.

U.S. Web Design System already included

Formation is built on top of a fork of U.S. Web Design System (USWDS) v1.6.10. In other words, there is no need to include the USWDS into your Formation project because Formation already includes the USWDS.

We have added components, design patterns, and other features unique to the needs of the VA.gov platform, all tested with Veterans to meet our usability and accessibility guidelines.

We’re not currently updating to USWDS v2 because:

  • Many of the naming conventions have changed between the 2 versions.
  • The design of some of the base components has changed based on specific needs for VA.gov.
  • Formation includes its own set of utility classes and design tokens.

If USWDS introduces a new component that would be useful on VA.gov, implement it individually in a way that works with VA.gov’s design system and naming convention.

Browser support

Formation supports older and newer browsers through progressive enhancement. We follow the 2% rule: we support any browser above 2% usage as observed by analytics.usa.gov.

IE 11 and up
Latest versions of Microsoft Edge
Latest versions of Google Chrome
Latest versions of Firefox
Latest versions of Safari