Supporting Elsevier to tackle an organisational shift: from printed publications to digital services. Bringing online tools to academic researchers.
Image credit: Lucas Vasques via Unsplash

UX Design

User Research


Amsterdam, NL



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.

Some of the features we conceptualized and validated have made their way into different Elsevier units and digital offerings like Mendeley and Science Direct.

A platform for the academic comunity.

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.

Mockups for Mendeley's profile page and article recommendations
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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. 

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Maria Hock - 2021