13. Encourage everyone to use the digital service

Encourage users to choose the digital service and consolidate or phase out existing alternative channels where appropriate.

Why it's in the Standard

As we build simpler, clearer and faster government services the digital channel will become more convenient for users than non-digital channels like post, phone and shopfronts. Increased digital take-up will mean users can spend less time interacting with government. This will result in greater cost efficiencies for government.

Measuring digital take-up helps you to understand how well your service is being used. It’s one of the 4 mandatory KPIs services must report on the Performance Dashboard.

We still need to help users who are unable to use digital channels and provide support to those who need it. But we want to ensure digital channels are used whenever possible and to scale back, or phase out, alternative channels when we can.

How you can meet the Standard

In Discovery and Alpha stages

Your user research will give you a good understanding of where people want to access your service and their levels of digital skill. Through the Discovery stage and Alpha stage you need to understand:

  • the users’ journeys and how they interact with your service, digitally or otherwise
  • existing alternative channels and how users currently interact with them
  • what percentage of users access digital and non-digital channels
  • how you will increase digital take-up and what targets you will set

In Beta stage

As you continue developing your service and start testing it with users in Beta stage, you should:

  • be increasing digital take-up; revising your targets and considering relevant performance metrics
  • have a plan of how to move users to the digital channel where possible, including a communications plan to promote the service
  • have agreed analytics/metrics for the volume of usage across channels
  • understand the full impact of retiring any potentially redundant services and channels

As you progress your service to Live stage you will need to show:

  • how you’ve revised the targets you made in the Beta stage to increase the number of users (including users we need to assist) of your digital service
  • what you’ve learned from testing different approaches to encourage users (including users we need to assist) to choose the digital service over non-digital alternatives, and which ones you’ll use in the Live stage
  • your retirement strategy for any redundant services and channels
  • that your service load capacity is scalable to meet increased digital take-up
  • how you will promote your service and encourage people to use it, including how your messaging will appear in places where the users will see it

GOV.UK Service Manual — Encouraging people to use your digital service