Supporting Elsevier moving from offering printed publications to digital tools for academic researchers.

Supporting Elsevier moving from offering printed publications to digital tools for academic researchers.

Supporting Elsevier moving from offering printed publications to digital tools for academic researchers.

Supporting Elsevier moving from offering printed publications to digital tools for academic researchers.

CLIENT: Elsevier - Amsterdam, 2015

MY ROLE: User Research, UX Design.

scientist looking through a microscope
Image by Lucas Vasques via Unsplash
CHALLENGE

Moving from print publisher to offering digital tools for academics

As one of the largest publishers, 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.

A wireframe for some of the new Mendeley features using Axure
Concept wireframe.
RESULT

Digital platforms 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.

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. 

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

ElsevierExperiments
Mockups for Mendeley's profile page and article recommendations
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Maria Hock - 2021