The UI for the City of Virginia Beach's website needed to carry a lot of weight on its shoulders.

On one hand, it needed to make functional sense. Text needed to be clear, buttons and links had to to be easily identifiable, and navigation had to be quick and reliable. A huge search bar was added front-and-center to help visitors find information fast and reduce menu fatigue.

On the other hand, the design needed to feel like the beach. Residents needed to know they were at home when browsing the site. I created a new brand identity for the City to match the growing tourism economy and creative initiatives in Virginia Beach. To keep things in order, I developed a component based design system that was shared throughout the organization. 


What's Up? Page

UX Process

City of Virginia Beach

“She was awesome! Always very open to our suggestions and feedback and that when presented with issues and challenges, that she had no problem understanding what was needed and knocked out every request.


The City of Virginia Beach desired an overhaul of their government website. The goals of this redesign were to improve front-end functionality and create a back-end, template-based site structure that city employees could easily modify.

UI Process

Final Thoughts

The City of Virginia Beach engaged Marathon for an entire redesign and restructure of their government website. This included performing a full blown UX audit and a reimagining of the site's information architecture based on Google Analytics data and user survey information for over 500 existing website pages.

The site's overhaul had two main goals: improve user functionality across the site by bringing forward useful, "quick action" information, and create a template based system to enable the city's communications team the ability to update site content without a steep learning curve. 

To achieve these goals we worked through several sitemap iterations in order to optimize the information architecture and I designed simple wireframes based on the capabilities of a site builder program, Craft, that city employees were learning. 

The What's Up? page plays a crucial role in the improved experience of the city website. Serving as a hub for for what's happening in the city, the page invites visitors to explore events and news they otherwise may have missed. This city now has a central repository for timely, customer facing information, and visitors not longer have to hunt for what they're looking for. 

Working on the website for a city that means so much to me was basically a dream come true. While some of the back-end work wasn't always glamorous, the result of seeing the various parts come together was beautiful. And the positive impact that a newly organized information architecture will have on the community is priceless. And personally, as a local, I can't wait to use the new site I helped create.

Working with local government was also a fun challenge. The time, budget, and technology restraints gave way to a unique approach to website design that uncovered many new skills and techniques. If you'd like to learn more about my time with the City of Virginia Beach, please reach out! 

Sitemap V1

Sitemap V5


How Do I? Dropdown

When visiting their local government's website, the last thing a resident wants to feel is frustration or confusion. In an effort to avoid those feelings at all costs, the How Do I? dropdown came to be. Like asking help from a friend, the How Do I? dropdown takes a conversational approach to answering the visitors most frequently asked questions. How do I apply for a job? How do I pay a bill? The drop down has you covered. 




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