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December 14, 2017

ABT Modernizes Site for NC Department of Revenue

capabilities covered
Information Architecture UX Design

Atlantic BT is proud to announce the launch of the North Carolina Department of Revenue’s new website. A partnership that began in 2015 (as ABT was collaborating with NC.gov) has come to fruition with a stronger and more streamlined DOR site that provides easier access for both taxpayers and DOR staff.

Because of the many rules and processes of NC tax policy, the restructuring of the DOR site required ABT to tackle complex situations with nuance and care. Our team conducted extensive research to ascertain the needs of taxpayers as well as internal users who maintained the site. This research led us to shift the web experience to focus on the tasks users wanted to accomplish on the site rather than the identity of the users themselves. This task-oriented approach became a defining characteristic of the project.

User Research Provides Answers for State Government

Using Tree Test Diagrams developed from an in-depth persona workshop, our designers created an ideal path for different users to follow when visiting the DOR site. The UX needed to be just as clear for a user looking for general information as it was to a taxpayer who had a specific issue to be addressed.

Tree test example of NC tax return access
This tree test shows possible user paths for checking the status of an NC tax return.

Keeping this in mind, we migrated the site over to a new platform powered by Drupal. This gave internal users more autonomy and flexibility, making it easier to update the site as technology and tax laws changed. At the same time, Drupal enabled strong governance over the different internal users to ensure their updates fit the larger vision of the department. Redesigned information architecture, which was now data-informed rather than data-driven, also established much needed clarity to enhance the user experience across the site.

New Offerings on NCDOR.gov

Everyone has a story of a tax situation gone awry. Our Research Manager Randy Earl shared one that he experienced while he was working on this project:

“Resolving complex tax issues can often feel like being trapped in an endless loop of frustration,” he said. “Finding the right information and understanding the process can make all the difference; that’s why making this site stronger and more accessible for taxpayers is so important.”

The new user interface for NCDOR.gov
Data-informed information architecture powered this new user interface for NCDOR.gov.

The new DOR site will now lead users exactly to where they need to be and create opportunities for tax issues to be remedied easily for everyone involved. Atlantic BT achieved this with:

  • A reorganized and modernized web interface with user-friendly access to essential pages.
  • A shared design platform with other NC Government branches for clarity and unity.
  • Mobile-friendly site capabilities.
  • Updated technology with the ability to maintain pace with ever-changing user needs and tax laws.

Tax related stress is no joke. That’s why the DOR wanted to ensure that its new design prioritized the user, making the entire process as simple as possible and perhaps even enjoyable. Atlantic BT is proud to work alongside the DOR and looks forward to future collaborations to build NC.gov sites that support and empower the people of North Carolina.

capabilities covered
Information Architecture UX Design

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