Principle 9

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9. Be consistent throughout

The service should look and feel like one service throughout, regardless of the channel it is delivered through. The language used should be consistent, as should visual styles and interaction patterns.

What this means in practice

The service is consistent:

• Across user entire journey

• In each channel

• Between users (even if the experience a user has is unique, it should be consistent with the quality of experience others have)

You’ve achieved this when

Your user is able to trust your service because it looks, feels and acts as one constant service.

How to do it

Every breach of consistency is a breach of trust
When our services behave inconsistently, our reaction is the same as we would react to a person who did the same – mistrust

Just as in the rest of our lives, it’s a lot harder to regain that trust once it’s broken than it is to gain it in the first place. Treat every weak link with care and consideration and try to avoid breaking your user’s trust in you

Focus on the abilities of your whole organisation, not on the skills of your superstar players
Your service is made of multiple partners and individuals, all working towards a common goal. For that team to work together on a service that has no weak links, your team has to be free of weak links. Make sure everyone in your team knows and understands the skills of everyone else so that they can respond to change quickly. Make sure that vital pieces of information about how a user should experience something is transferred universally across your organisation

Empower staff to make individual decisions about users
To make sure that your service doesn’t stray into being uniform, ensure that your staff are empowered to make individual decisions about how to respond to users or to fix a problem in the best way they see fit. This applies to treating users differently at all points in your user’s journey to respond to their particular needs at the time

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