National Trust

Experience innovation meets national heritage

A website relaunch makes the National Trust more accessible, elevates user experiences and reduces its carbon footprint

Facts

Technology

  • Bloomreach

Get to know the National Trust

National Trust

The National Trust is a vital custodian of the United Kingdom’s heritage. Recently, the Trust embarked on a journey to align its online presence with its core values of sustainability and inclusivity. To achieve this, Valtech helped the Trust rebuild and restructure its website.

Get to Know the National Trust

Building a website that is welcoming to all

National Trust

Valtech came into an established project that was facing several significant challenges:

  • Usability. The previous site was hosted on the monolithic Oracle WCS web experience management system, which was quickly approaching end-of-life. What’s more, the platform wasn’t the ideal fit for the National Trust’s 600 remote content editors, all of whom had differing levels of technical skills. Many found the site difficult to use, and it was tough to achieve consistency between pages.

  • The site’s size. The Trust’s previous website was vast, with more than 24,000 live pages. This made it difficult for users to find information and contributed to the site’s carbon footprint.

  • Accessibility. The site did not adhere to WCAG accessibility standards, nor was it optimized for mobile devices.

Ultimately, the Trust’s existing plan to deliver the new website wasn’t achievable. The project needed a team that could bring in the experience and perspective required to plan and challenge MVP assumptions in a positive, future-oriented way.

Elevating the National Trust digital experience for everyone

National Trust

Valtech and the National Trust addressed those challenges with a comprehensive strategy.

Implementing a new CMS

A key part of that strategy was migrating the site’s content from Oracle WCS to Bloomreach.

The Trust had already selected Bloomreach as its new CMS, but its internal team lacked Bloomreach expertise.

We brought in this expertise and advised the Trust on how to implement a better content structure for its editors. This facilitated a more streamlined content-editing process and improved content coherence across 32 regions.

Restructuring the site

Valtech also executed critical development work aimed at reducing the website's size and carbon footprint. This aligned with the National Trust's commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2030.

We optimized media files, integrated with a content delivery network (CDN) and provided guidance on sustainable file-management practices.

The new site launched with just 6,000 live pages, a fraction of the previous number.

Making information accessible

Valtech’s team worked hard to make it easier for users to find relevant content.

We restructured the navigation menu to be accessible and performant across all devices, even on devices with limited connectivity.

We also prioritized the concerns of non-visual users and keyboard users by conducting accessibility tests during every sprint. The UI library we selected, Storybook, had tools for checking our website styles against a variety of visual impairments to ensure color contrasts and font sizes would work for everyone before the code was deployed.

Get to know about the National Trust

Results

National Trust

Our work helped the National Trust modernize its digital infrastructure and achieve its sustainability goals while elevating user accessibility:

  • The website achieved 100% uptime since launch, with zero Priority 1 (P1) defects.

  • Emissions related to database storage fell by 70%.

  • A review by digital accessibility charity AbilityNet found no critical or high-priority accessibility issues on the new site.

The Bloomreach implementation reduced onboarding times for content editors, increased CMS usage and improved content quality. Content publishing and content updates became more intuitive and responsive.

Crucial to note, too, is how the communication between our organizations strengthened our relationship and promoted a culture of accountability. For us, this engagement is a perfect example of how shared commitments can lead to transformative digital results.

For our work with the National Trust, Valtech was awarded Silver for Client of the Year and Bronze for Digital Product Build at the BIMA Awards 2023.

Further, the National Trust had the most website traffic of any UK charity in 2023.

Contate-nos