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Communities of practice

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Could we have a component for government websites that shows users how to tell a site is an ‘official government site’ ? has a small banner with a link that drops down to show users what to look for.

Hi Lisa,

That seems a good suggestion. There’s obviously no official DS component right now, but you could reuse the HeaderGovAU component that the site uses.

If you already use Design System, this would be easy to import, and if not, you’d just need the animate component (or an alternative), and to replace the variables.

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Hey Lisa and all.

I agree with you and found a similar example the other day on

Hope it helps!


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IP Australia has been working on a solution to help identify authentic online experiences called Smart Trade Mark ( It is more focused on enabling Trade Mark holders prove the authenticity of their brand online but the Trust Badge solution could also be developed to help educate people on government domains as well.

Welcome Rob, and thanks for sharing!

I’m very interested in how the validation (and verification) works for the Smart Trade Mark.
Has IP Aus published anything about that yet?

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Hey Gordon,

Its still in R&D and piloting but its all underpinned by API’s that read/write to a Ledger database which stores a URL linking a Trade Mark register. The Trust Badge code (Javascript) references the hash for the stored URL which verifies the domain via API before displaying the badge and there are a few additional calls after you click on it. Its currently a MVP so there is still a lot of investigation required but consumer testing is showing some value to the utility.

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I think this is definitely something that really fits into that header component. I would go so far as saying a consistent header component is more important than an official website banner (but I’d let research decide if that is true or not!).

I raised some similar themes on the header last year: Header

We have a woefully inconsistent approach for Government branding across Commonwealth domains. Compare to (and almost any site!).

Basically, would be great to see the header component evolve into a consistent component that balances trust, brand and navigation requirements?


I was just about to link the same post as James! (missed by 5 mins)
It was definitely killed off a couple years ago. While I’d love if it came back, I totally agree with James that the large header component is more important.

In Singapore, they call it a masthead component.

RE: Some “in-the-know” DTA lukers will know that those designs were done by an external entity and fairly rushed (and put onto AEM?!) so that’s why it doesn’t really conform with the design system. I wouldn’t be surprised if you see those designs appear on the new myGov portal. (seems backwards that we’d just deploy something to prod, then try to add it into the design system spec…)

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Can I add to that consistent header, a search function that lets people Search this website, search this department or portfolio and search all

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@lhow The search thing would need a lot of research to justify - around 75-85% of traffic across originates from search engines. @pdb - are there any plans for the Observatory to expand

The position we ended up with out of the Observatory data was that it’s usually* better to optimise for deep discoverability/SEO via external search engines, so that we reduce the journey length to an absolute minimum.

Search across department/portfolio isn’t ideal either - we don’t get away from asking people to know about the structure of government, although easier than trying to remember 1000 domain names.

The search is very interesting, and where I’d personally spend the most time if I were trying to build something more useful.


  • we only looked at single intent journeys, so catering for someone who needs to do two things might be a different story


We found people using onsite search on the ABF site looking for visas. This was addressed by including results from both sites in our onsite search. There’s a lot of crossover when people want to know what they can bring to Australia between us an Agriculture (which is addressed by working collaboratively on content) but there’s a wide range of things people want to know if they can bring that we might not want to duplicate on both sites.

Another situation where people reasonably expected to find something on one site but didn’t get it was people searching for a list of hospitals on the Dept of Health site not knowing that hospitals are a state responsibility. I’m aware that onsite search use is not huge, but it is very disappointing thinking you are in the right place and can’t get what you expected to find.

Marginal gains?

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I disagree that it would be suited for a header. The header is prime real-estate, this sounds more like a contentinfo thing.

Hey @etiennemaujean
I think the headergovau_bar shown on the design system site was originally inspired by the work done by 18F for US sites.