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Ver. 2.2.0

How to create new design elements using the utility classes

In this article we will be looking at an actual example for developers, of how to use the utility classes to create a brand new HTML design element. If you would like to see an example of building a page using the Design System library and other tools, see article How to create a page using the design system.

The Design System provides the basic components for creating digital service straight out of the box. These components may not be enough to build all services end to end, so the DSF team has created a library of CSS utility classes that apply unique styling and formatting to a group of HTML elements, that can be used to build new design elements, in the ‘ way’.

We will be looking at how to create a “Testing banner” to warn users when a service is built, and being tested, but not available for the public to start using. Our team has found from user research and consulting with testing partners during the discovery and design phases that there was a need for a design element with a “badge like” warning with the word “TESTING” and text explaining that this is a testing service, to be placed on the top of the main section of each page.

We start by creating a <div> container. In order to comply with the vertical spacing requirements of our design system we will assign the govcy-mb-4 class in our <div>.

<div class=" govcy-mb-4"></div>

We can now create the ‘badge like’ element inside in our <div>. We can use a <span> inline container and assign the following classes to it:

  • govcy-br-2 class to add a 2px border in our element
  • govcy-br-primary class to set the primary colour for the border
  • govcy-text-white class to set the text to white
  • govcy-rounded-1 class to change the borders radius
  • govcy-bg-primary class to set primary colour for the background
  • govcy-px-3 class to set the left and right padding to 3px
  • govcy-fw-bold class to set font weight of text to bold

We can now simply add the rest of the text inside the <div>.

Our code now looks like this:

<div class=" govcy-mb-4">
<span class="govcy-br-2 govcy-text-white govcy-br-primary govcy-rounded-1 govcy-bg-primary govcy-px-3 govcy-fw-bold">TESTING</span>
This is not an actual service. It is only used for testing purposes. Any submissions made though this service will not be processed.

Visually our element looks like this:

TESTING This is not an actual service. It is only used for testing purposes. Any submissions made though this service will not be processed.

This is how the element looks like placed first inside the <main> container of an actual page:

Custom design element in a page

This is it. We were able to easily create a new design element, aligned with the styles of, meeting user needs, without writing any new styling code and this saves a lot of time.