Major Website Modernization for the British Library

Synopsis

The British Library has had a vision to modernise their website so that it is more efficient, user friendly and scalable. To address this, a core team, led by the Coforge project manager and solution architect, was stood up to carry out a pre-discovery and discovery into the existing digital ecosystem and to understand future needs. The primary goals for the British Library were to transform their existing website and to how the n

Business Challenges

The British Library has been facing usability challenges with its website that involved issues around accessibility, legacy code.

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Technical Solution

A high-level prototype was built initially to prove the accessibility and performance improvement brought by the headless architecture implemented by Coforge. The following website development stages were planned and executed:

  • Usage of Sitecore JavaScript Services (JSS) for generating configurable JSON.
  • Consumption of dynamic JSON through React JS.
  • To retain SEO rankings, it was ensured that URLs of old and new website run in parallel.
  • Custom JSS preview was developed by extending the vanilla Sitecore solution.
  • Legacy out-dated code was transformed to a whitelabelled website along with making the same AA level accessibility compliant
  • Full User Experience (UX) design of all unique Sitecore templates to support different screen resolutions.
  • A responsive website was built supported by the single code base, replacing a separate legacy mobile website.
  • Both legacy and new accessibility were enabled to run in parallel to enable a phased roll-out of the new website.
  • On-going component library was built along the development phase which is being re-used in all the new web projects within the Client’s organization.

Delivering More Value

Since July 2021, 70000+ pages were made Accessible and Responsive which are being used by around 8 million customers each year.

Overall website performance improved by 30-40% with Sitecore 9.2 & React 17.

More than 150 Sitecore templates are now being produced by 1 single fully flexible FE template which means less cost to manage the website.

Approx. 50+ E2E reusable component library established for the Client for future reuse

A phased implementation approach allowed the British Library to run both new and old websites in parallel.

New and more productive ways of working were introduced to the Client’s leadership team and delivery organisation, showing how new solutions can be quickly designed and prototyped to gain rapid, low-cost user feedback.

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