Penguin Random House

Creating a single platform in the UK for the world's largest publisher.

Content editors have more control over the layout of components and each of our five sites can be quickly re-themed at any time. We now have a new capability to rapidly create and deploy multiple catalogue-based websites.
Penguin Random House

Challenge

Penguin Random House was formed in 2013 from the merger of the two global publishing names. The merged company employs 10,000 people across five continents, comprises 250 independent imprints and publishes 15,000 new titles annually. With the increasing dominance of Amazon and the proliferation of Ebooks, it was vital that PRH quickly built a competitive digital presence to serve the business, showcase brands and authors and play host to vital campaigns. Agile digital product development, greater understanding of consumer behaviour and cost-effective management of new sites were key drivers.

Solution

We spent 9 months with Penguin Random House and their design agency sketching, processing wireframes and prototypes, creating the design language and applying it to an incomprehensible variety of brands. The design agency talked to stakeholders, got to grips with Penguin Random House’s existing content and mapped their ideas, through sketches to detailed templates. From this process they created a prototype of the site, which they took for user testing. The resulting product was then refined, until we had a launch MVP.

We designed and built a bespoke product information manager (PIM) that pulls information from Biblio and allows content authors to easily augment basic catalogue information, adding, author articles, podcasts and relevant events.

Our innovative architecture supports a complex data model that enables extremely clever tagging and content curation. This encourages users to explore further and makes it easier to find meaningful, recommended options.

Our own authoring tool, Zen Garden provides pre-fixed templates and a consistent authoring framework, giving an unique combination of local independence and central governance, and cost-effective production of new sites.

Transformation

Penguin.co.uk is a space where books and authors can be displayed together for the first time. It has been informed, and will continue to be shaped, by audience need and feedback. Much more than a catalogue of books, the website has been designed to house rich, engaging audience-led content around books and authors.

Focusing on the twin pillars of author content and recommendation, the site builds out rich author hubs for dedicated audiences whilst at the same time providing inspiration for those looking for guidance on what to read next.

Updated daily from a variety of sources, from in-house book-lovers, to specialist writers and best-loved authors, Penguin.co.uk is a universe of stories for readers everywhere.

16% increase in clicks to retailers

45% increase in time on site

49% increase in return visitors

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