Canada Council for the Arts is a champion of the Canadian arts community and works hard to provide both artists and organizations with grants, services, prizes and payments in order to help them succeed.
The Public Lending Right (PLR) — part of the CCA — is designed specifically for burgeoning Canadian authors and provides annual payments in return for the rights to provide the public with free access to the authors’ books in libraries across the country.
PLR relies largely on its direct beneficiaries and a range of stakeholders, which is why it was essential for the organization to continue providing key information to those involved in the PLRP, as well as maintain an up to date, visually stunning website that allows authors to easily register for the program through a downloadable form.
Neither the PLR website nor its brand had been updated in a number of years, which meant the PLR needed a refresh on both brand and content, as well as enhanced back-end functionalities and a more user-friendly front end.
With its new website, PLR wanted to achieve the following objectives:
- Improved user experience and overall website performance including content updates supported by a strong content management system and maintenance strategy, platform upgrades and ongoing technical support
- Superior communication timelines, improved information dissemination and increased outreach activity to the target market
- The creation of relevant, useful and clear content in order to reduce the number of queries received by phone and email
- A clear and concise PLR value proposition highlighted on the website
- Brand consistency throughout the website
- The migration of essential information and client services in time for the 2018 program cycle, which began on February 15, 2018
When approaching Apiqu, PLR also specified that it wanted the new Sitecore website to be fully responsive on both mobile and tablet. In addition to this, the organization wanted to include the following:
- WCAG 2.0 AA compliance to ensure accessibility for people with disabilities
- Cross-device compatibility with Android, Blackberry, iOS, Windows phone, and iOS tablet
- Cross-browser compatibility (including Safari)
- Multilingual features including English and French capabilities
With quality and timeliness of key website information being so vital, PLR needed to be able to easily manage content in an intuitive, visual environment without requiring the assistance of IT. This meant the Apiqu team also needed to integrate BrainJocks SCORE framework, which extends the Sitecore Experience Editor to enable content teams to manage, update and create new pages in order to respond to dynamic markets and achieve digital objectives.
As experts in Sitecore development and a Certified Solution partner, Apiqu knew it would need to provide a solution that followed Sitecore best practices and allowed multiple configurations to suit different environments including separating Sitecore data from logic and user interfaces. That is why the team decided to use Helix Solution Architecture in order to achieve these goals.
Once Apiqu had implemented the Helix Solution Architecture, it turned its focus to installing BrainJocks SCORE framework. A certified BrainJocks SCORE implementation partner, Apiqu boasts a team of knowledgeable, in-house SCORE certified developers who were able to integrate BrainJocks SCORE best practices on dozens of custom components created to make it effortless for content authors to manage and update content on a regular basis. With the new system in place, Apiqu also provided the option to easily select different style options so authors can change the appearance of certain components with the click of a button.
The Apiqu team wanted the PLR site to be as visually appealing on the public facing pages as it was on the back-end, which is why the front-end team focused on website markup and accessibility. The new site is now fully cross-browser and cross-device compatible and compliant with WCAG 2.0 Level AA guidelines to ensure accessibility for people with disabilities, including providing screen readers for the visually impaired.
Apiqu was honoured to work with an organization like PLR, which promotes and enhances the Canadian arts community.
Despite a tight deadline, Apiqu was able to utilize its qualified development team in order to release a highly efficient and customized website to PLR within the timeline allotted. To do this, Apiqu employed its most trusted project management system, technical design, planning and development as well as its front-end implementation expertise in order to provide the best in quality and service.
Apiqu always puts its customers first, which is why the team also provided a thorough knowledge transfer document to PLR upon deployment of the new site, which included information on how to start the developer, a comprehensive description of all custom developed Sitecore components, along with detailed instructions about how content authors and developers can use the system, a list of third-party tools used during the development process, and guidance on deployment strategies.