We recently updated the colours used by the alpha and beta phase banners on GOV.UK.
They used to look like this:
They now look like this:
Why we made the change
The primary reason we made the change is for accessibility - the old colours both fell below our 4.5:1 contrast ratio requirements for text. Whilst the pink could have been made a bit darker, the orange would have become very brown and wouldn't fit with our colour scheme.
The secondary reason is that there was no real reason for the banners to have different colours.
They were originally chosen to loosely follow a traffic-light metaphor. We’ve found in research though that users don't know the colours refer to specific phases. And in practice they tend not to notice the banners. So a consistent colour works just as well.
Where to get the new banners
Developers will find them in version 2.2.1 or up of GOV.UK Elements.
We’ll be updating the guidance in the Service Manual shortly to reflect the change.