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Determined to deliver a better online experience for its customers, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) wanted to overhaul with a new design, streamlined information architecture (IA), and optimization of existing content to make both online and in-person visits more productive. The Virginia DMV also wanted to raise awareness of common online services and transactions to increase user success and reduce customer volumes at offices.


For years, Virginia residents have had the option to “skip the line” and complete many common transactions, like registering a vehicle or renewing a driver's license, directly on Some didn’t know it, and those who did may have missed out on the convenience of online services by not giving them a try. The Virginia DMV recognized the need to transform its existing website into a true digital front door that offered a simple, seamless, and connected experience at every major touchpoint of a customer’s journey.


Research and Analysis

During the initial phase of the project, CapTech conducted a heuristic analysis and accessibility review of the existing site. The findings and recommendations from these activities provided the team with guidance and guardrails for the design phase. Additionally, usability and content testing, persona research, and IA and content reviews were conducted to develop a more comprehensive understanding of audience needs and frustrations and translate those pain points into opportunities for improvement.


Informed by this research and analysis, CapTech’s visual designers created new branded visual elements and design components that were modern, intuitive, and highly accessible, and expanded upon the Virginia DMV’s existing color palettes and type styles. We then introduced scenic and people-centric photography to further refresh the brand and resonate with customers on a more personal level. 


To improve menu navigation and flow throughout the site, a copywriter and content strategist from CapTech’s Customer Experience service offering restructured the information architecture into more logical content groupings – a process that involved collaborating with the Virginia DMV’s content team to review the content and performance of more than 600 existing pages. Additionally, the CapTech team conducted unmoderated content testing on drafted content to gather feedback and make additional improvements to guides and instructions, as well as the phrasing and terminology used throughout the site. Lastly, a search engine optimization (SEO) assessment was delivered with recommendations to help maintain and grow authority following the site relaunch. 


With a brand-new redesign underway and optimized content in the pipeline, the design team pushed the effort further by collaborating with the Virginia DMV on a successful website launch. After testing several themes and messaging approaches to determine which had the most potential to connect and engage, the design and content teams created a full suite of campaign assets and messaging to promote the new site and support future needs. The scope included a library of digital ads, social posts, email drip campaign templates, print collateral, and a high-level campaign strategy that counseled email frequency and posting timing across various channels.


  • Delivered a comprehensive component library and design style guide that are both WCAG 2.1 conformant to maintain consistency and accessibility throughout the site.
  • Optimized 60 pages of content for better readability, structure, and SEO to increase user success and online transactions.
  • Conducted content testing on five marquee pages and turned feedback into recommendations for actionable improvements sitewide.
  • Created informative, emotionally resonant marketing messaging across 20 campaign assets to build internal advocacy, spread awareness, and drive action.

With improved visuals, streamlined navigation, and clearer, more instructional content that is easy to follow and anticipates user questions, the Virginia DMV will be able to give valuable time back to customers and enhance efficiency for employees. Upon launch, the marketing campaign will encourage current and future Virginia residents to hop online, not in line, so they can spend more time on what matters to them.