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Posted on: November 29, 2018

Loudoun County Launches New User-Focused County Government Website

Image of New Loudoun County Website Screenshot

Loudoun County has unveiled its redesigned, user-focused website, www.loudoun.gov. The new design is geared to better meet the needs of Loudoun County residents and businesses, enabling visitors to the website to more easily and quickly find the information they need. 

The development of the new website was accomplished over several months and through a process called “informed build.” The collaborative process uses data to inform the information architecture, content and design of a website. Development of the new website was guided by analysis of a broad range of data including website analytics, which indicated the webpages most frequently accessed by website visitors. In addition, the project team reviewed business practices and mapped government processes to identify ways to improve customer service through the county’s website. More than 1,000 outdated or unnecessary webpages were deleted, simplifying the website and improving the search function. Members of the public also participated in the construction of the new website through survey responses and user-testing sessions that were conducted during the design process and contributed to the county’s decisions about the navigation and functionality of the new site. 

“The needs of Loudoun County residents and businesses have been at the forefront of our efforts to build an enhanced website that helps people quickly find the information they want,” said Deputy Public Affairs and Communications Officer Mary Frances Forcier, who led the website redesign project. 

Features of the new website include:

  • A responsive design, which enables the site to automatically render content optimally on any device, including smartphones and tablets as well as laptops and desktop computers.    
  • Improved navigation is accomplished by highlighting visitors’ “top tasks” throughout the website through easy-to-spot buttons and persistent global navigation.
  • New topical landing pages that allow website visitors to easily find some of the most frequently accessed information across the website—such as information about taxes, permits and licenses—regardless of the department that provides the service. 
  • Several new microsites, which are relatively small clusters of webpages that function as separate entities within the county’s website. The microsites highlight important resident-focused information such as programs, amenities and services offered by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services and the county’s Transit Services. A Health and Human Services microsite helps people more easily navigate the many essential services provided by the Departments of Family Services; Health; and Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Developmental Services.
  •  An open government portal that takes members of the public to a single starting point for accessing the broad range of information, records and open data held by the county.
  •  Translating the county’s website is easy using Google Translate. From any webpage, select a language in the bottom right corner of your screen. More than 80 languages are available.

The county is committed to continually improving its website to meet the needs of the public. The new site includes a link to a website feedback survey on every page for users to provide input.

“We want to hear from people about their experience on our website because their feedback will help refine the county’s website to better serve them,” Forcier said. 

The website is the county’s primary communication tool, enabling people to access information about county services and programs and to complete a broad range of online business transactions through self-service methods. The former website, which was designed in 2012, received more than 2.6 million visits in 2017.

Loudoun County worked with CivicPlus, its current website provider, on the redesign. The company specializes in creating websites for local governments and municipalities, and has more than 2,500 government clients across all 50 states, Canada and Australia.

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