The National Library of Finland’s website was brought to the Drupal 9 era

Published: 20.10.2021
Categories: Technology
Reading time: 3 min
Inside view from the National library

The partnership between the National Library of Finland and Wunder began already six years ago. Their latest project was about renewing, and the new site was brought to light at the end of June. After the website renewal, the site is now more accessible and easier to use.

The National Library of Finland (Kansalliskirjasto in Finnish) is a cultural heritage organization that is open to all and provides nationwide services to citizens, scientific communities and other societal operators. As the National Library of Finland aims to serve its customers on the web even better, extra effort is put into the digital user experience. In addition, digital services play a key role in raising the awareness of the National Library’s various services and creating a top-notch customer experience.

The story of Wunder and the National Library of Finland started six years ago by moving the Kansalliskirjasto.fiopens in a new tab to the Drupal 7 platform. When choosing the technology for their web services, one main driver for selecting the open-source Drupal was its community that ensures the technology follows the latest trends and is continuously evolving. For the past six years, Wunder has been responsible for maintaining and continuously developing

At the end of 2020, a more extensive development project began with updating the Drupal 7-based to a newer Drupal 9 version. Also, the website’s visuals were renewed and usability enhanced. The work began by defining and designing the new site, and the phase included service designing, creating visual identity and specificating the technical aspects. The successful website renewal was published in June 2021.

One of the main requirements for the project was to increase website accessibility. To meet that need, Wunder’s accessibility specialist and UI designer Kati Utriainen made sure accessibility was taken into account throughout the project, while she also designed the website’s visuals and UI style guide. After a proper specification and design phase, the renewal was easy to technically execute so that the website will meet the WCAG 2.1 criteria on A and AA levels.

The renewal also brought the content on easier to find. The usability has been improved for both the end-user and the National Library of Finland staff. Digital communications specialist Tiina Lehmikoski-Pessa from the National Library of Finland says about the project:

“Our goal is to provide our customers fast and accurate search for information. Developing digital services requires continuous effort as the needs and matters change constantly. In the next phase, we wish to also involve the end-users in the development cycle to ensure the website serves its users the best also in the future.”

As the teams were no strangers to each other, the collaboration has proceeded well throughout the project and continues now with cleaning up the backlog. Lehmikoski-Pessa continues:

“Collaborating with an international team has been surprisingly effortless and smooth even though the whole renewal was made remotely. The communication between Wunder and us has been on a good level, and we are eagerly waiting to get celebrating the completion of the last tickets!”

Wunder’s delivery manager Päivi Kaunisto summarizes the project:

“The project has been intriguing. Also, from the supplier’s point of view, the collaboration has gone great. It’s meaningful to be able to improve the digital services of the National Library of Finland – the nation’s memory.”

After the website renewal, our work with the National Library of Finland continues again with maintenance and continuous development to support the National Library of Finland’s goal to raise awareness for its services nationally and internationally. Right now, one of the main focuses is to unify the user experience and streamline the flow between different services.

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