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New state website, Virginia.gov, launches

The commonwealth unveiled a redesigned and revamped official website Jan. 4, featuring a rotating home screen with a less-busy feel.

The new Virginia.gov’s (http://www.Virginia.gov) home page features several themes which appear randomly with each visit to the site: “Leading Virginia,” focused on transparency and service; “Family Ties” and “Home, James,” featuring the state’s diverse culture, traditions and history; “Best Practices” and “Open for Business,” aimed to help new and existing businesses and employees navigate the state’s economic climate; and “Bright Minded,” focused on education in Old Dominion.

Gov. McDonnell’s office says the new site’s “inviting new look” is backed by an “efficient architecture focused on improving citizen usability.”

“Internet service delivery has changed significantly since Virginia launched its first government website in 1997,” McDonnell, a Republican, said in a prepared statement. “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.”

Five rounds of citizen usability testing were conducted on the desktop and mobile versions, according to McDonnell’s office.

“We have measurably improved our service delivery through this new website by focusing on the user’s experience with government tasks,” McDonnell said. “Use of this quantifiable process will help us continue to improve going forward.”

Visitors of Virginia.gov can search for state information and services, research business licensing and workforce development, look for job opportunities, browse tourism-related events and learn about each branch of the state’s government.

A user survey is also available on the home page.

McDonnell’s office pointed out the service providers for the new Virginia.gov are based in the commonwealth. Site architecture, construction and usability testing were performed through the commonwealth and CapTech of Richmond, while Big River, a Richmond-based advertising agency, provided design work through CapTech. AIS Networks of Falls Church hosts the site, which the commonwealth will continue to manage.

-Trevor Baratko


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