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  1. Service manual
  2. Helping people to use your service
  3. Assisted digital support: an introduction

Helping people to use your service

Assisted digital support: an introduction

If you’re building a digital service, you must provide help for people who need to use it but don’t have the skills or access to do so on their own.

This is called ‘assisted digital support’.

Meeting the Digital Service Standard

You must provide assisted digital support so that you meet the Digital Service Standard and pass your service assessments.

Find out how your assisted digital support will be assessed.

How to provide assisted digital support

You can provide assisted digital support:

  • through your own department or organisation
  • by hiring private organisations
  • by working with voluntary or other public sector organisations

Types of assisted digital support

The support you provide can be either:

  • someone guiding a user through the digital service
  • someone entering the user’s information into the service on their behalf

You can provide this support by phone, web chat or face to face.

Find out more about designing assisted digital support.

Users who need assisted digital support

You must do user research to understand how people need help using the digital service.

See: Understanding users who don’t use digital services.

Users you don’t have to support

You don’t have to provide assisted digital support for users who:

  • work in the public sector and use your service as part of their work (including contractors)
  • are not British citizens and are overseas
  • are not the actual end user

You also don’t have to provide assisted digital support if another digital service meets the needs of your target users.

Services where no users need support

On rare occasions, your research might show that your service doesn’t have any users who need assisted digital support.

For example, if your service is meant solely for IT (information technology) businesses, your research might find that all users can use the digital service independently.

If you suspect your service has no users who’ll need assisted digital support, you need to show the user research that supports this claim at your service assessments.

You may find the following guides useful: