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British government website wins top UK design award

LONDON (Reuters) - The British government's main Gov.uk website has won the prestigious Design of the Year award, praised for its well thought-out but "understated" design.

Judges appointed by London's Design Museum voted for the winner of the contest's digital category to claim the overall prize, chosen from 98 entries and beating winners in six other design categories.

Museum director Deyan Sudjic dubbed Gov.uk the "Paul Smith of websites" in a reference to the successful British designer and described it as simple, direct and well-mannered.

"It makes life better for millions of people coping with the everyday chores, from getting a new passport, to paying their taxes," Sudjic said in a statement announcing the awards.

British Prime Minister David Cameron praised the website as a vital part of the government's efforts to be transparent by combining all of the British government's websites into a single domain.

"For the first time, people can find out what's happening inside government, all in one place, and in a clear and consistent format," Cameron said.

In other categories, an anti-diarrhea kit that fits into gaps in Coca-Cola crates beat the Olympic cauldron in the product category.

A "Medici chair" designed by German designer Konstantin Grcic won the furniture category and a folding wheel won the transport category.

Last year the top award went to the designers of the London 2012 Olympic torch.

The Design Museum is one of the world's leading museums devoted to architecture and industrial design. The winning designs will be on show at the museum until July 7.

Following is a list of category winners:

Architecture

TOUR BOIS-LE-PRÊTRE, PARIS - Designed by Frédéric Druot, Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal

Digital

GOV.UK WEBSITE - Designed by Government Digital Service

Fashion

DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL - Directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland

Furniture

MEDICI CHAIR - Designed by Konstantin Grcic for Mattiazzi

Graphics

VENICE ARCHITECTURE BIENNALE IDENTITY - Designed by John Morgan Studio

Product

KIT YAMOYO - Designed by ColaLife and PI Global

Transport

MORPH FOLDING WHEEL - Designed by Vitamins for Maddak Inc.

(Reporting by Paul Casciato, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)

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