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DHCD website

DHCD Builds a New Online Home

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community (DHCD) invests more than $100 million each year into housing and community development projects throughout the Commonwealth, the majority of which are designed to benefit low-to-moderate income citizens. Because DHCD also partners with communities to build economic potential, regulates Virginia's building and fire codes, and provides training and certification for building officials, its website had become cluttered with large amounts of information and was difficult to navigate.

In 2018, DHCD decided it was time for a renovated web presence. They called on Virginia Interactive (VI) to construct a website that would fully reflect their dedication to being "partners of better communities."

Before even a single line of code was applied, VI spent over two weeks speaking with, and surveying, 378 end users of the DHCD website, the majority of whom worked for localities and non-profit organizations. From this period of conversation, it was determined that ease of navigation was a paramount concern and should heavily influence the philosophy of the re-design. A "four click" system was developed to ensure that any end user could find what they were seeking with intuitive ease. The overall site map was wholly refreshed, and redundant and repetitive information was removed.

Bold and vivid colors anchor the renewed user experience. Serving to redefine the aesthetic of a government space, they also function to cement the clean architecture of the revamped navigation structure.

DRUPAL 8 supports the endeavor as the content management system. Coupled with a new workflow, this ensures efficient updates and authoring of content, allowing UX designers to more effectively serve the end user.

As a fitting follow up to the initial dialogue with constituents, it should be noted that praise for the new website has been high from both end users and UX designers.

DHCD places communities first. As a result of a user-focused partnership with Virginia Interactive, their website is smooth and easy to use, and serves as a worthy tool in their mission to serve the Commonwealth of Virginia.


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