U.S. Web Design System documentation
This repo includes code and documentation for the U.S. Web Design System website. For information on the Design System (components) themselves, please visit web-design-standards.
Note that this README includes steps to pull the latest version of the Design System into your local instance of the documentation.
The U.S. Web Design System documentation is built using Jekyll for the file framework, gulp for task management, and the node module for the Design System.
Before you start
You will need to have the following installed on your machine before following the commands below:
- Ruby v2.2.2+, Installation guides
- Node v4.2.3+, Installation guides
- Bundler v1.12.3+, Installation guides
- Chrome v59 or higher (v60 if on Windows)
Building the documentation with gulp
Some parts of the documentation are built using gulp.
To work on the site, switch to your local copy of the repository in terminal then run the following command to install project dependencies:
Now that all of your dependencies are installed, you can run your local server by running the following command:
127.0.0.1:4000 in your browser — you should be viewing a local instance of designsystem.digital.gov.
Here are a few other utility commands you may find useful:
npm run clean: Cleans out copied-over dependency assets.
npm run lint: Runs
npm test: Runs all tests and linters.
npm run watch: Runs a series of commands that watches for any changes in both the Design System node module and the root level asset folders in this repo.
npm start -- --incremental: Runs your local server with incremental regeneration enabled to greatly improve build time. Use instead of
Using the latest version of the
Sometimes you will want to use the latest version of the
web-design-standards repo. Follow these steps to do so:
- Clone the latest version of the
npm installto install the dependencies required for the package in the
npm run buildto create the built version of the Design System in the
npm linkin the root level of the
web-design-standardsdirectory on your local machine.
npm link uswdsin the root level of the
web-design-standards-docsdirectory on your local machine.
- Set the
FRACTAL_BASE_URLenv var to the running fractal instance for
web-design-standards. In your terminal window in the
npm run watchin both project directories to have changes automatically built and compiled on changes to any asset files.
- In a new terminal window, run
npm startin the
web-design-standards-docsdirectory to start the Jekyll server locally.
You are now using the latest version of the Design System via your cloned version on your local machine. To stop using this version, type
npm unlink uswds from the root level of the
The Design System uses the fractal design system builder to organize and document the components. This documentation site pulls the components from fractal to showcase them on the site. This is done with a custom
fractal_component Jekyll tag, which takes the full name of the fractal component as a parameter.
Deployment and previews
This site is deployed on Federalist, which automatically builds the site whenever commits are pushed to
Federalist also builds public previews for each branch pushed to GitHub. For instance, to see the latest build of the
develop branch, visit:
Updating the USWDS version
To update the version of USWDS being used, change the version that
package.json specifies in its
We currently pull USWDS via git rather than npm, as it allows us to use any tag or commit during development. To install a specific commit, you can use e.g.:
npm install --save "uswds/uswds#fb49e4f"
Alternatively, to use a specific version tag, use e.g.:
npm install --save "uswds/uswds#v1.3.1"
This version number or commit hash is automatically parsed when the site
is built and used for display on the site (see
for details). Therefore, be sure to use an actual version tag on all
master branch commits--otherwise a commit hash will show up as the
version on the production site, which would be confusing.
Adding content to the "Updates" section
_posts directory for instructions on adding updates.
Some of the content on the documentation site is dynamically fetched from
GitHub. If you want to ensure that its API won't rate-limit you, you
may want to
create an access token
and assign it to your
GITHUB_ACCESS_TOKEN environment variable.
The dynamic content is stored in the
.jekyll_get_cache directory and
won't be re-fetched once it's cached there. However, this means that your
data can get stale over time, so if you want to ensure that your site
is using the very latest data, you'll want to clear the cache by running:
rm -rf .jekyll_get_cache
Please read through our contributing guidelines. These guidelines are directions for opening issues and submitting pull requests, and they also detail the coding and design standards we follow.