The site beat all 98 entries to claim the overall prize after also winning the digital category meant that Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, accepted the award, regarded as the design Oscars at the reception held in London.
Whilst many regard the site as quite bland and very functional the jury unanimously agreed that GOV.UK was the overall winner for Design of the Year 2013 describing it as ‘well thought out yet understated in design, making the user experience simpler, clearer and faster’.
This win could strike a change in overly fussy and complicated image led websites as the judging panel added that that GOV.UK looks elegant. The panel concluded their remarks by saying ‘this site is the Paul Smith of websites which the rest of the world is deeply impressed by, and because it has rationalised multiple official websites, it saves the taxpayer millions, what’s not to like?’
Speaking about the award David Cameron said: “I am delighted that the GOV.UK website has won this award. This government is committed to being the most transparent in the world. For the first time, people can find out what’s happening inside government, all in one place, and in a clear and consistent format. It is just another example of Britain’s world class design talent standing out on the global stage; in this case helping to enhance the modern relationship between the public and government.”
Deyan Sudjic, Director of Design Museum added: “GOV.UK is a remarkable success on so many levels. It makes life better for millions of people coping with the everyday chores, from getting a new passport, to paying their taxes. It’s a reflection of the government understanding how to communicate with the country in a way that works, it’s simple, direct, well mannered, all the things that we would like to take for granted from the government, but in a sea of red tape and jargon, usually can’t.
The winners of the other six categories include the Morph Folding Wheel, a new wheelchair which folds down to nearly half its original size, and the Tour Bois-le-Prêtre, a 1960s tower block in Paris which was retrofitted at half the cost of demolition and rebuilding into fresh new housing.
Previous Design of the Year winners include, last year, the London 2012 Olympic Torch, designed by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby and the Folding Plug by Min-Kyu Choi and in 2009 the iconic Barack Obama Poster by Shepard Faireydown.