A champion of equity, peace and sustainable development, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization was created in 1945 in an effort to encourage conversation about education, culture, science and information. The organization works to inspire cooperation and collaboration between its member states, which include Canada, one of its founding members.
UNESCO has accelerated its mission more recently and in 2015, created the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The plan is meant to focus on 17 sustainable development goals, which include health, equity, human rights and cultural diversity, and will contribute to improving education, ecosystems and economies in regions around the world. UNESCO is attempting to reach their aggressive yet important goals by 2030.
In an effort to effectively share their purpose and spread knowledge to a wider base of people, UNESCO turned to Apiqu to create a fully responsive Sitecore website optimized for web, mobile and tablets. It was also essential that the website be created to ensure ease-of-use for people with disabilities and follow the WCAG 2.0 Level AA accessibility standards, which are a set of 12 web content accessibility guidelines organized under four principles that include ensuring a website is perceivable, operable, understandable and robust.
When approaching Apiqu, UNESCO specified that it wanted the new Sitecore website to include the following:
- WCAG 2.0 AA compliance
- Cross-device compatibility with Android, Blackberry, iOS, Windows phone, and iOS tablet
- Cross-browser compatibility
- Multilingual features including English and French capabilities
Because sharing knowledge and facilitating conversation is core to UNESCO’s operations, developing a section of the site that provided the content team with an intuitive, visual environment was crucial. Apiqu knew immediately that this feature would require the implementation of BrainJocks SCORE framework, which extends the Sitecore Experience Editor in order to allow content teams to quickly and easily manage content, and update and build new pages in order to achieve digital objectives.
To improve search functions on the CCUNESCO website, Apiqu also recognized the need to integrate the cloud version of the Coveo search engine.
Apiqu wanted to guarantee UNESCO’s new site provided the best in quality and ease-of-use, as well as ensuring the system allowed for enhanced productivity.
As experts in Sitecore development and being a Certified Solution partner, Apiqu has an intimate understanding of the product and features. That is why the team decided to use Helix solution architecture in order to create the new UNESCO site. Helix follows Sitecore best practices and allows the configuration of different environments.
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.
Noting UNESCO’s multiple search pages and different facets, Apiqu recognized the need to integrate Coveo. Luckily, Apiqu is also a Coveo Certified Implementation Partner with a team of in-house certified developers. Using Coveo Cloud and Coveo best practices to ensure seamless updates in the future, Apiqu’s developers modernized the website search feature, along with several custom components created specifically for UNESCO. Developers were also careful to isolate UNESCO search indexes from other websites hosted under the same Sitecore solution.
The Apiqu team wanted the UNESCO site to be as visually appealing as it was user-friendly, 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 thrilled to have the opportunity to work with UNESCO, an esteemed global organization with an admirable mission.
Despite a tight deadline, Apiqu was able to utilize its qualified development team in order to release a highly efficient and customized website to UNESCO within the timeline allotted.
Welcoming all challenges, Apiqu employed its 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 UNESCO 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.