Measure and improve digital uptake

Date adopted: 
October 22, 2020
Last update: 
October 26, 2020

When we look at digital uptake, we're talking about the percentage of people using government services online in relation to other channels. For example, on paper or via telephone.

You must plan to continually improve the digital take-up for your government service. eServices can help with this.

Calculate digital uptake

You'll measure digital take-up from public beta onward. Follow these steps to calculate digital uptake.

  1. Find the number of completed digital transactions over any fixed period.
  2. Divide that number by the total number of transactions from all channels in the same period.
  3. Show the result as a percentage.

Measure digital uptake


In discovery, you conduct user research to identify and better understand the different types of people who need to use your service. After you've identified these users, determine if they are likely to use the digital service and if they will be able to access it.

You can set initial targets for digital uptake based on this user research and the relative complexity of your service.

Prototype development (alpha)

If there is an existing service, use the available data to set a benchmark for digital uptake. This is your first measurement of the percentage of people using the digital service.

You'll use this benchmark to check how the new service improves digital uptake.

You can also look at existing similar digital services and see how they measure and improve digital uptake.

If this is a new digital service, create a model of how people will use your service.

  1. Determine what channels people currently use to complete the task.
  2. Anticipate what channels people are likely to use in the future.
  3. Start to plan how you’ll move users from non-digital channels to the digital service.
    1. Describe how and when you propose to move non-digital users onto the digital service.
    2. Determine what supports your users may need to use the digital service at launch. Will these supports be needed less as digital uptake increases?

You can also look at existing similar digital services and see how they measure and improve digital uptake.


Validate the model you developed in prototype development (alpha) with the data you're starting to collect. This data will help you refine your target for digital uptake and inform your plan to increase digital uptake.

Start refining your plan to promote the digital service when it goes live.


After the service is live, you must continue to implement your plan to increase digital uptake.

How to improve digital uptake

We want citizens to access the government's services in the way they choose. Improving digital uptake is not about expecting all users to only use the online service. If there are a large number of users that access the service offline, we want to understand why so we can take action to encourage them to try and use the online service.

Find out why people don’t use your service online

Conduct user research with people who don't use the online service. This research will help you understand:

  • their user journey and how they interact with your service on and offline; and
  • why they prefer to complete their task offline.

You can use your findings to determine how to encourage people to use the digital channel. If there's a good reason people are using the offline channel, your findings may also provide you with insights to improve that service experience.

Do research on people who:

  • currently use your service or might use it in future;
  • may need support or assistance using the digital service;
  • are currently choosing offline channels; or
  • have stopped using your service because it’s online only.

As you conduct your research, you'll want to find out if the users:

  • are aware they can complete the task online;
  • want to complete the task online;
  • find online parts of your service too difficult to use;
  • have internet access; or
  • have concerns about completing the task online. For example privacy and security.

Change the way people access your service

Promote the digital service

Examples of promoting your digital service:

  • Online advertising. Work with your department communications team to develop social media ads and promote the service on You can also work with the Executive Council Office and eServices to draft a blog post for the Digital Information and Services Blog.
  • Offline advertising. Work with your department communications team to design and place offline ads.
  • Promote the digital service at the goverment's inquiry desk and the front counter where people access the service offline.
  • Communicate the benefits of using your digital service. For example, they don't have to wait in line, they can access the service at night or on a weekend, or they don't need to drive into Whitehorse to access the service.

If your research shows that users have particular concern about the digital service, address their concerns.

  • Improve the design so the service appears trustworthy and reassures the user.
  • Be up-front and clear about how you’re dealing with users’ privacy and security.

Train front desk and support staff to promote the digital service

Train staff to use the digital service so they can speak to users based on their experience. Once staff understand the benefits to using the digital service, they can:

  • encourage people to use it;
  • sell people on the benefits of using the online service; and
  • support people while they're using it.

It's also a good opportunity to discuss how an increase in digital uptake might change how staff do their job. Explain what those potential changes might look like.

Encourage people to use more cost effective offline channels

As you carry out your plan to help users access the online service, continue to try move the demand to less costly online channels. For example, if the user is looking for face-to-face help, you might promote accessing the service via phone over a visit to a government office.