Stephen McCarthy


Today, as a class we were visited by Stephen McCarthy which is a Graphic Designer working for the Government Digital Service. He is one of the designers that helped create GOV.UK which has been well known and used across the country. He came in to talk about what it’s like being a Graphic Designer and also what his job role is about. Below are a few points that I wrote, whilst listening to him.

  • Working to improve relationships between citizens and governments.
  • A quote that they like to say “it’s not finished, it never will be.”
  • Designers in the government today- 300 designers 1/2 million work civil service.
  • They work with product teams, alongside product managers, delivery etc. They all communicate with one another.
  • How they work- Build things, Collaboratively, Code, Research, Expertise and Solve Problems.
  • Design Principles- 
  1. Start with a need.
  2. Do less.
  3. Design with data.
  4. Do the hard work to make it simple.
  5. Iterate then iterate again.
  6. This is for everyone.
  7. Understand context.
  8. Build digital services, not websites.
  9. Be consistent, not uniform.
  10. Make things open, it makes things better.
  • GRAPHIC DESIGN– It’s all about the understanding design should never get in the way of the content. It should almost be invisible. Every element on the page should have a clear purpose.

My Thoughts

I found listening to Stephen McCarthy was really beneficial, I like the fact that we can see what it’s like from a Graphic Designer’s perspective, of how it really works out in the world. It made me really consider what options I might have when I come out of university and where I might want to take my skills, career wise.


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