‘What to do when someone dies’ becomes government’s latest step-by-step service

Written by Sam Trendall on 7 September 2018 in News
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Drive to design end-to-end user journeys continues

Credit: GOV.UK/Open Government Licence

The government’s latest step-by-step online service addresses the actions people need to take when someone close to them dies.

The service, which was launched yesterday, is designed to guide users through what they need to do during each of five steps, which are listed in the necessary chronological order. These steps are: registering the death; arranging the funeral; informing government and other organisations; obtaining any potential financial assistance and managing the impact on others’ finances; and, finally, handling the deceased’s estate.

For each step, users are provided with a list of the things they either need or might wish to do, and links to the relevant sources of information, contact details or, in some cases, online services – including the government’s Tell Us Once service, through which citizens can report a death to all necessary departments simultaneously.


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The creation of step-by-step online services – that map out a user’s entire journey, rather than providing discrete transactions – is a major ambition of the government in the coming months. 

The intention of these services is to take as a starting point the ultimate intended outcome for the user – such as starting a business, or organising a community event.

One of the first services to undergo an end-to-end transformation was the Learn to drive a car site, which launched earlier this year. The new website brings together information and services across six defined steps – beginning with checking if you are allowed to drive, and ending with what to do after you have passed your practical test.

As many as 400 other services have been earmarked by the government as being suitable to be redesigned in this way. 

One of the most noticeable features of the step-by-step services is the lack of departmental branding; the learn-to-drive service was the co-creation of the DVSA and DVLA, and brings together content and services from both organisations.

Similarly, the service for dealing with someone’s death contains information and tools from various different departments and agencies, with no single organisation’s brand adorning the site.

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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