As one of the world's largest publishers of academic publications, Elsevier is transitioning towards offering digital tools to better support academic researchers to conduct their work. As the first step, the company set up an innovation program to continuously design and evaluate new product initiatives.
The team consisted of designers, developers, and strategists who worked side by side using a SCRUM approach to ideate new product concepts, set-up validation experiments with users and transfer promising ideas to internal teams for implementation.
My involvement focused on creating high-value features for Mendeley. For instance, we explored how to further develop the platform's social value to promote cross-discipline collaboration within researchers. Another critical experiment revolved around Mendeley Suggest to understand how to present relevant article recommendations to scientists based on their novelty, usefulness, and transparency.
A central aspect of the program was collaborating with academic researchers themselves; the multiple product explorations were validated with users throughout the design process using interviews, remote usability tests, and longitudinal studies.
We had access to Elsevier's network of users, aiming to understand the needs of researchers worldwide; this network consisted initially of researchers from five top universities across America, Europe, and Asia and later expanded to more institutions across the globe.