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Guidance on how to name your service or tool on GOV.WALES.

First published:
2 June 2021
Last updated:

The name you choose for your service or tool is important to its success.

Picking the right name means that users can:

  • find your service more easily when they search online
  • understand what your service does and easily decide whether to use it

When to name your service or tool

You should try to name your service or tool by the end of the discovery phase. By this stage you should have:

  • defined the problem you’re trying to solve
  • learned more about the context of the task your users are trying to do

How to name your service or tool

Good service or tool names:

  • use the words users use
  • are based on analytics and user research
  • describe a task, not a technology
  • do not need to change when policy or technology changes
  • are verbs, not nouns
  • do not include government department or agency names
  • are not brand-driven or focused on marketing

Problems with naming your service

If you’re having problems naming your service, it might be because you have not scoped your service correctly. In this case, you should review your user needs and carry out user research on the task that users are trying to do.

You might want to expand or reduce the scope of your service if it covers several related services (for example, if it’s a tax or grant service).

Examples of service or tool names

You can use these service names as good examples:

  • Apply for or renew a Blue Badge
  • Find an apprenticeship

Check how the name is performing

You should check how your service or tool’s name performs both before and after going live.

Use research and testing

You should use research and testing to check that the name allows users to quickly recognise what it does.

You can use tree testing (on Wikipedia) to see if users can:

  • navigate from a home page to your service
  • distinguish your service from other related services

Review search terms

You should check search data to find out what terms users search for that relate to your service.

Using metrics

You can review metrics to get an idea of how a service name is performing. For example, you can check:

  • page views from organic search
  • click-through rate to a ‘start’ button
  • external search volumes for the old and new name
  • reduced number of on-page searches about the service
  • number of users calling to ask ‘How do I… ?’