Virginia Beach Seeks Citizen Feedback to Design Its First One-Stop Shop Portal

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The City is creating its first one-stop shop mobile portal and wants to engage citizens as testers throughout the development process. Participants do not need a technical background to test the app and share their opinions or recommendations. By crowdsourcing feedback from residents, the City plans to design an app that evolves with their needs. 

The goal is to combine the familiar capabilities of various City apps into a single, customized portal where citizens can perform a range of activities, such as making payments, applying for permits, finding voting locations and more. To achieve such an ambitious goal, the app will be delivered through several phases where new functionality will be introduced, and existing functionality will be expanded. 

"We're really interested in hearing from citizens so we can build a portal that works for them," said Peter Wallace, the City's chief information officer. "To successfully launch a relevant and comprehensive app, we need to understand what type of features should be included. Honest feedback will lead to a meaningful user experience. We've made it easy to leave suggestions directly in the app." 

As contactless services continue to rise in popularity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City is taking steps to meet digital demand and introduce more citizen-centric technology. The one-stop-shop portal will serve as a multipurpose tool which facilitates access to several City services. 

While the official name and branding have not been determined yet, a pre-release version of the app is listed as "VB Connect" and is currently available on Android, iOS and the web. The app can be accessed from a mobile device or computer. 

Citizen-testers are invited to point out which features would be most beneficial to their daily lives. They can also identify any bugs or issues. The testing program is open to all citizens. To participate, simply go to: 

Follow these steps to provide feedback:  

  • Tap on the Menu  
  • Select Settings  
  • Enter your feedback  
  • Select Submit Feedback  

Public input will be reviewed regularly and incorporated where possible to ensure a dynamic portal. Citizens are encouraged to check the City's social media channels for updates.

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