Case study

Design and validation of an Identity Service for Wellcome

A person typing on a computer laptop.

Researching and assessing technology options

Digirati were engaged by the Wellcome Trust to design and implement a new Identity Service to support the development of a new Wellcome Collection digital experience for their users. This Identity Service will help deliver functionality so that members of the public can pre-register for a Wellcome library account, allowing them to manage and utilise this account in their interaction with the new collection website.

An initial discovery phase was completed, to allow us to collaboratively explore the problem space further, establishing how the service would support users and provide a seamless integration with existing back office systems and processes.

Aspects of the technical architecture that were envisaged to form part of the Identity Service had been identified by the Wellcome technical team, aligned to their existing technical strategy. As part of our discovery, we needed to focus on validating that this approach could deliver a scalable, usable experience in addition to achieving successful integration.

To achieve this:

  • We quickly focused on building out critical elements of the solution, in prototype form to establish how aspects of the integration might work.
  • We used the initial prototypes to determine how elements of the technical solution would support the desired user experience, and established where there were challenges. User experience, operability and maintainability issues were identified and led to some pivots with the approach.
  • We researched and validated other potential solutions, assessing the total cost of ownership, in order to short list other suitable options.
  • We then completed further iterative prototyping to assess and confirm suitability of one of the shortlisted services, before collaboratively agreeing the most appropriate solution to proceed with.

Digirati worked to determine and validate an architectural approach to identity management that integrates our existing library systems with a modern, standards-based identity provider. The resulting architecture is well thought-out and has proven easily extendable to support further member services, including online requesting and integration with OpenAthens.

Jonathan Tweed

Technical Product Manager, Wellcome

Implementation and handover

With an agreed technology and approach in place, we were then able to progress into an implementation phase in which we developed the Identity Service in collaboration with the Wellcome product and technical teams. We subsequently handed over the service to the Wellcome technical team to own and develop further, providing technical architecture support and guidance as part of this transition.

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