From accessing student loan updates to checking driving licence details, the Government Digital Service’s GOV.UK site is used by millions of people every day. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a time when these services weren’t readily available, but in 2010 this offering was only a dream, when business woman and former ‘digital champion’ for government Martha Lane Fox began a campaign to get more of the nation online. The Government Digital Service (or GDS) was founded shortly after. Now seven years down the line, as well as delivering the award-winning GOV.UK, it is widely recognised as setting a standard for online usability around the globe, and has revolutionised the way we access governmental information and services. We talked to head of design for GDS and government Louise Downe, for a detailed look at the department’s culture and why it’s so essential to put the public at the heart of everything they create.