Virginia has redesigned and launched anew version of its official state website, Virginia.gov. The website was redesigned with a focus on citizen usability and also includes a mobile version. The website will be considered the official state portal and contain links to all other necessary state websites and online forms.
The new website will focus on Governor McDonnell’s pro-business agenda, emphasizing the ease of starting a business in the state. It provides direct access to information that businesses looking to start up, locate or expand can use, enhancing economic development and job creation efforts. Another key theme will be raising a family.
Five rounds of formal citizen usability testing were conducted on the desktop and mobile versions. Citizen users participated in a series of real-world scenarios during each test. Their responses drove enhancements. A user survey is prominently displayed on the home page of the website; ongoing refinements and enhancements will continue based on further usability best practices.
Service providers for the website all are Virginia-based. Website architecture, construction and usability testing were performed through a contract between the commonwealth and CapTech of Richmond. Big River, a Richmond-based advertising agency, provided design work through CapTech. The site is hosted by AIS Networks of Falls Church. The commonwealth will continue to manage the website.
“Internet service delivery has changed significantly since Virginia launched its first government website in 1997,” Governor McDonnell added. “Today, our citizens are enjoying faster connections and often using mobile devices. Our job as a website provider has not changed, however; we must efficiently deliver information and services that our citizens, businesses and visitors need.”