Service Standards
4 Make the Service Simple to Use

4. Make the service simple to use

Build a service that’s simple, intuitive and comprehensible. And test it with users to make sure it works for them.

Why it’s important

People expect services to just work, and government services should be no exception.

It costs government time and money to deal with mistakes that happen when services do not work well. And making things more complicated than they need to be undermines trust in government.

What it means

Service teams should:

  • make sure the service helps the user to do the thing they need to do as simply as possible - so that people succeed first time, with the minimum of help
  • test for usability frequently with actual and potential users, using appropriate research techniques
  • test all the parts of the service that the user interacts with - online parts and offline parts (like letters)
  • design the service to work online with a range of devices that reflects users’ behaviour

Services should also provide users with a consistent experience from start to finish. For GOV.UK services, this means:

  • being consistent with the design of GOV.UK
  • following the GOV.UK style guide for all text, online and offline