1. Understand user needs. Research to develop deep knowledge of who the service users are and what that means for the design of the service.

The purpose of this point is to make sure the service is designed around the needs of those who use it.

The team creating the service should have a good understanding of user needs that has come from observing and engaging with end users, understand what users are trying to do when they engage with the current service (the user context, whether currently digital or not) and they understand the user needs - not just functional requirements - that the service will have to achieve in order to be successful.

There are many ways to achieve this and they are documented in the learning user needs section of the Government Service Design Manual.


The Standard was launched on 7 April 2016.

This guidance was last amended on 17 June 2016 as part of Service Standard Sprint #1.

You can read more about the Standard here.

All content in this guide is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0, except where otherwise stated.