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Webinar: Best publisher UX award – 20 February 2020


OpenAthens Webinars: My keyboard seems to be stuck. OpenAthens Webinars: And I cannot move the slides. OpenAthens Webinars: Hello, and a very warm welcome, everyone. Thank you for joining our webinar today, which features the three finalists for our best publisher UX will 2020 OpenAthens Webinars: So our three finalists of Bloomsbury. Cambridge University Press and Emerald. I’m Jane Charlton, marketing manager at OpenAthens and in a minute I’ll introduce the webinar and our three presenters. But first, I just want to go through a few housekeeping things with you. OpenAthens Webinars: So first of all, just let you know that we are recording the webinar today and will send out the recording link with an email after the webinar. OpenAthens Webinars: If you’d like to post any speaker questions, please do that using the Q&A box. And if you can indicate which speaker your question is for that would be fabulous. OpenAthens Webinars: And then finally, if you have any audio or video problems please can you post them in the chat and so OpenAthens Webinars: I’ll move on to the next. OpenAthens Webinars: So that’s the housekeeping out of the way and I just want to say a little bit about the award itself. So our new award was set up to highlight those publishers that have put users at the heart. OpenAthens Webinars: of their service design and this is with the simple aim of giving users easy access to content. The was built on our ongoing commitment to drive forward innovation in the information industry and to make access to knowledge as easy as possible for end users. OpenAthens Webinars: Our award also supports the underlying principles of the NISO-approved RA21 recommended practices for improved access to institutionally provided resources. OpenAthens Webinars: We plan to run the board next year. And we would especially like any publishers that have implemented the RA21 recommend practices to apply for the award. OpenAthens Webinars: And now, without further ado, let me introduce you to our first speaker Tim Inman, product manager at Bloomsbury Publishing. Over to you! Tim InMan: Brilliant. Thanks very much, Jane. Let me just get my PowerPoint up Tim InMan: Great. And so as Jane said, I’m Tim. I’m a product manager at Bloomsbury Publishing. I’m going to be talking to you about these three publishing platform and telling you the story of how we developed and designed it in response to the needs of our users. Tim InMan: So the first thing to say about the platform is it’s not, in fact, a single site. Instead, it is a custom built solution. This course has 20 different content types and a set of highly flexible and configurable options. Tim InMan: Is allows us to quickly and cost effectively create products which can be customized with the content information architecture and tools that are appropriate for subject specialists in a wide range of disciplines. Tim InMan: And this is perhaps best illustrated through numbers. So 2, that’s the number of years since we launched the first product on site. Tim InMan: And in that time we’ve launched 14 products in total. We now support 20 different content types, and over the last two years, we’ve grown to have over 200 subscribing institutions and in around 30 countries globally. Tim InMan: So a question that you might have response to that Bloomsbury as an academic publisher is a specialist in the humanities and social sciences. Tim InMan: and the visual and performing arts. So why do we have so many sites, why we decided to go down that route? Tim InMan: And the answer to that is that within those fields the breadth, depth and variety of output is unparalleled. Tim InMan: So on the left here, you can see a selection of subjects covered by sites and our platform. And it’s worth pointing out that within those disciplines Tim InMan: there are user groups that have distinct pain points needs and behaviours. And on the right you can see different user groups that are catered for on at least one of our sites on our platform. Tim InMan: Now the fact that we are ourselves specialists means that we can truly work to understand our users and focus on distinctive needs. Tim InMan: And for this reason, but it’s been essential from the very start of the platforms creation of these groups voices were put at the heart of the development process and to ensure that we’re providing for them effectively. Tim InMan: To how have we done that? Tim InMan: Well all our online resources start with the creation of a product specific use case and problem statement. Tim InMan: These are informed by user research and testing, which typically consists of one to one interviews, focus groups, surveys with librarians and academics, and usage data from existing sites. Tim InMan: We help us to identify what features and content types need to be included, my site and where further development is required. Tim InMan: And just to highlight that this work doesn’t stop at launch and we continue to track usage data and hold one to one interviews with users and also conduct win loss analysis with librarians to understand what went into that decision to or indeed not to subscribe to a product. Tim InMan: And now we’re going to talk about how we use that information to respond to our user needs and how are we’ve done that on our site. And structure that around three main topics: content types, search and browse, and design and visual elements. So content types first Tim InMan: As I mentioned at the start, we have 20 different content types available on the site, a selection of which I’m displaying here. Tim InMan: Each of these was created through an iterative process involving collaboration between the internal Bloomsbury team and our external developers. Tim InMan: The team set up the initial requirements of each content type in consultation with academics, which would then further refine through the creation of sample content and user acceptance testing. Tim InMan: And finally, interactive wire frames were created and tested in one to one sessions with users in the US and UK. And just to highlight that any site can hold any combination of these different content types, so we can have truly tailored solutions and uses. Tim InMan: Next up, search and browse. So we’ve got the content there. How do we as users to find it? Tim InMan: Well, our research consistently reveals that users prefer searching for content on our site to finding it by any other methods such as browse. And analytics reporting suggests it’s around six times, search is around six times more popular than any other group. Tim InMan: And actually this is also something that comes up in user interviews. So I was interviewing someone for our design lab research a couple of weeks ago. Tim InMan: who described her visits to the site as purpose driven ventures, which I thought was a kind of brilliant and pithy kind of summation of what most of our users doing when they come to the site. Tim InMan: And so for this reason, the development of search has been a central focus when the platform was built and continues to be a massive priority for us. Tim InMan: And this has led to the development of features such as smart predictive search Tim InMan: carefully designed search relevant rankings. Tim InMan: and related content panels that use custom algorithms for each product. And you’ll see that these custom related content fields Tim InMan: are also great in facilitating discovery and connection between different content types. So here we have a visual content type Tim InMan: but it’s connected to text content here. Which brings me nicely on to the next topic, which is design and visual elements. Tim InMan: So one of the things that we have learned is that our users often need a highly visual approach in their research and teaching, which has made these elements a really high priority for our audience. Tim InMan: As a result, all our sites but emphasis on providing visually rich immersive materials, coupled with a fresh interface and fully mobile responsive layouts throughout. So Tim InMan: an example would be be Bloomsbury Medieval Studies which we launched back in October. And so Medieval Studies perhaps not a discipline you’d consider to be Tim InMan: typically visually rich, but actually, when we were doing our initial scoping work we consistently were hearing the archival content and images were rated as the most valuable content by librarians and academics. Here’s an example of some of the archival content we have on site. Tim InMan: So moving on. I’m going to look at a specific use case. Tim InMan: Just going to share Tim InMan: my browser. Tim InMan: And this is our Bloomsbury Fashion Video archive site. Tim InMan: This is a database of over 1500 catwalk shows from the last 40 years which is aimed at students and researchers in fashion history, fashion design, cultural history and cultural studies. I’m just going to generate this bias cut, which is a technique used in dress design. Tim InMan: Now, during the discovery phase for this product, we kept hearing from users that they currently they weren’t actually using resources from traditional publishers to find the materials at all. Tim InMan: And in fact, where they were going was YouTube Instagram, Pinterest and Vimeo. And this presented a kind of interesting challenge because Tim InMan: It means that they’re often working with incomplete shows if they can find them at all, which are scattered across the internet and have either incorrect or sparse metadata. Tim InMan: So our solution when building a product was to do two main things. One was to make sure this searching for and finding shows was as straightforward as possible for users and users who typically don’t work with academic sites. Tim InMan: And second, was to ensure that we are providing rigorous academic surrounding content materials to provide context to the footage that was lacking elsewhere. So you’ll see that I just searched for a site here. Tim InMan: And the reason I searched for bias cut is that bias cut is actually a technique in dressmaking where fabric is cut in the diagonal grain, not with the weave. Tim InMan: And the fact that you can use search and you’ll get a video is really important. It means that users can use technical fashion terminology Tim InMan: to find content. And this has been made possible because each of the videos and the archive has been indexed and had metadata created by subject experts. So here you’ll see for each show we have a description. And then we have metadata down the side. Tim InMan: Press play Tim InMan: The other thing you’ll see as I press play is that we have a annotations of different looks, which will come up on screen. Tim InMan: And these show up in approximately 10 seconds sections which include the garment colour. Tim InMan: And the models names where they’re available. Tim InMan: Again, these are written by subject experts and the purpose of this is three main things. Firstly, there are really important pedagogical tool. Tim InMan: It teaches students how to describe images using the correct technical terminology which is really important, especially for early stage students. And this was a noted pain point for instructors during the initial scoping phase. Tim InMan: The second is that these transcripts are compatible with text to speech readers, which really enhances the accessibility of the site. Tim InMan: And finally, you’ll see we have a search transcript option here. I type in bias cut again you’ll see that it shows each instance where that appears in the video. So if I click here. Tim InMan: It will jump me to that point in the video, which means that our video content is fully text searchable. Tim InMan: Now, if I’m a user who’s come to this video I can save it here or if I’m interested in, for example, in bias cuts and I just want to come back to that option. Then I also have the option to clip. So if I do this. Tim InMan: Generate URL. Tim InMan: Then that clip. Tim InMan: Will appear up here in my content section. Tim InMan: Finally, just to finish off, as mentioned, Tim InMan: We also have the related content algorithms that play here. So it will show me related videos. Tim InMan: And then also related text content. So again, this is specially commissioned content by subject experts that provides all the additional materials that would be missing elsewhere. Tim InMan: Okay, so to finish up. I’m just going to show how the value and impact of this approach has had. Tim InMan: So the first thing say that is in the two years since launch the product has received consistent, the products on the site have received consistent good reviews, often highlighting the user friendly interface. Tim InMan: As I mentioned at the top. We also now have Tim InMan: Some 30 subscribers across the world. Sorry, some 200 plus subscribers across the world across 30 different countries and about half of those subscribers subscribe to at least one product platform. Tim InMan: And finally, we’ve also been lucky to garner some really great awards and just here I’ll like to highlight your attention the AAP Tim InMan: Hawkins award. This is often identified as the top award in scholarly publishing. And the Arcadian Library Online which won this, was actually quite groundbreaking in that it was the first digital first resource. Tim InMan: So that’s everything from me. I look forward to answering your questions. OpenAthens Webinars: Thank you very much, Tim. So the first question is “Can users get links out to related material housed elsewhere?” Tim InMan: And yes, that’s great question. So we have in Tim InMan: In the bibliographies, those links link out to library catalogs. And then, so so the related content, those modules Tim InMan: are exclusively to content within products, then within a bibliographies and further reading sections we include lots of links elsewhere on the internet and those will often connect up with library catalogs. OpenAthens Webinars: Fantastic. OpenAthens Webinars: And can you say a bit about future plans for the OpenAthens Webinars: For the product. What you’re planning to do in the near future. Tim InMan: Yeah, sure. Um, so a lot of the work we’re doing at the moment is around accessibility. So although we aim for level a web content accessibility Tim InMan: across the site. We’ve got a couple of areas we’re trying to improve on. So one of those is adding pause on our dynamic carousel homepage feature which we use on a couple of sites. Tim InMan: And the other is improving the accessibility of our interactive features. So, for example, our timelines and world maps, we need to improve their ability to be navigated Tim InMan: by keyboard. And the other thing which we just introduced is new custom browse pages. Basically, what this means is that we can really quickly create curated editorial content to kind of go alongside the content that’s indexed within resources. And this is great at providing Tim InMan: a kind of alternative routine. So we know that kind of search is the main way that users find content. But so if you’re a new user and you may be not too sure what you’re looking for Tim InMan: the kind of thematic browse pages will introduce a theme. So, for example, on our philosophy product we Tim InMan: Were going to be introducing one on Islamic thoughts and one of women in history of philosophy and these will provide a kind of jumping off point for users to find those kind of topics within the resources. OpenAthens Webinars: That sounds really interesting. Thank you, Tim. So if we can – I don’t think there were any more questions. Oh, hang on a second. One more question and OpenAthens Webinars: You showed some very impressive awards and quotes about the service. Could you also talk about the user research, you’ve done to validate the site and measure impact. Tim InMan: Yeah, sure. That’s a really good question. So, and like I said, the kind of post launch the two or the three main things we do is one Tim InMan: we track the usage data. So each month we we kind of share a dashboard, which tracks kind of various different metrics for each site. Tim InMan: I guess kind of perhaps more to kind of get kind of feel of actually how users kind of responding to the site. We have a program of one to one user interviews. So we set those up. And those are Tim InMan: sessions where we would do kind of task based interviews with users. So we asked them to run through the kind of typical research tasks, they’d be looking to complete Tim InMan: on one of our sites and we kind of either go through that with them in person or via screen screen share Tim InMan: And then just kind of follow up with some questions to kind of understand why they kind of approached they’re accessing the site in the way they did. Tim InMan: And then the final thing is that we are kind of in conversation with librarians all the time. And like I mentioned, one of the things we do is each time we’ve librarian has trialed a site, we do win loss interviews with them. So if they decided to Tim InMan: subscribe to the site and that’s great. We talk to them about that. But kind of more useful is when they haven’t decided to subscribe and we have a kind of long in-depth talk about you know why that was and what we can be doing to improve our services. OpenAthens Webinars: Thank you, Tim. That’s fantastic. So if we can now move on to Alex Evans, who’s lead product owner at Cambridge University Press, over to you, Alex. Alex Evans: So, sorry about that. I just had to unmute myself there. So I’m Alex Evans. I’m the lead product owner for Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Core. Alex Evans: So I’m going to start off with a very brief introduction video which I will just let play for a minute, and then I’ll talk to you a little bit about what we’ve done so far. Alex Evans: You probably weren’t expecting quite such a cinematic entrance there, but I wanted to share that little parody of the Star Wars entrance scene. Alex Evans: So there we go. So we’ve also got to thank George Lukas and John Williams for the music as well. Alex Evans: But let me talk to you a little bit about the landscape for Cambridge Core and how we we built Cambridge Core. So we had two major platforms. Cambridge books online and Cambridge generals online. Alex Evans: And a variety of different other content platforms, things like Cambridge Cambridge histories Alex Evans: And it became very apparent to us very quickly that users didn’t want to go to multiple sites they didn’t want to experience different user journeys. So we can see if the idea of Cambridge Core. Alex Evans: So Cambridge Core and a timeline back in 2014 we started off with some market research and across the next couple of years. We did various user feedback on designs once one library and testing, up until the point in which we deployed Cambridge Core in September 2016 Alex Evans: So today I’m going to talk to you a little bit about what we did to get there, but also what we’ve been doing since to maintain a customer focus platform. Alex Evans: So to start off with we did a survey global survey back in 2014 with over 9,000 respondents. And it was a 50 question survey, so it was amazing to get that sort of level of response. Alex Evans: And we also did 50 face to face interviews with customers all over the world. That’s external customers. And we also did some internal interviews as well to understand where there was an expectation on business. Alex Evans: And what this really led us to do was, it was a lead us to generate four key personas, Rachel, the researcher, then the librarian, Antonio, the author and Patrick the publishing partner. Alex Evans: And what we really wanted to do with these personas is understand the context of what each of them were doing. Alex Evans: The motivation they had for doing that thing and then the behaviours that they had that supported them doing that. Alex Evans: And it also helps us to personalize the personas in the company as well. So even when we had conversations with stakeholders, it would become, well with Rachel, would do this or would Lynne need that. Alex Evans: So moving on from that it allowed us to really set up a set of UX principles. Alex Evans: The ones that really want to call out here is that we quickly identified that Rachel the researcher was our priority and she was the one that was coming to our platform Alex Evans: on a day to day basis. We wanted to make sure that the navigation needs for her were recoverable at any point. So if she got lost in her journey she could Alex Evans: come back. But more so than that. We wanted to make sure that the next available action with as easily identifiable as possible and that the experience should be consistent, regardless of the content type that she’s got. So that the whole journey would always feel familiar to her. Alex Evans: So then we deployed Cambridge Core, as I said, and in September 2016 and it looked a little bit like this. Alex Evans: So we transitioned from putting a brand new product live into the market. Alex Evans: and we had to move into a more of a business as usual sort of model. So how are we going to maintain the customer experience, how are we going to make sure that we kept in touch. Alex Evans: With the multiple things over the first year, one of the key things was for our first birthday. We organized a race on Cambridge Core. Alex Evans: We asked users to come to our platform and complete five tasks testing or discoverability, our search function, their ability to navigate within the content and also iconography throughout the site. Alex Evans: We got people to complete these five tasks and we had over 1000 participants and over 200 people completed it all successfully. Alex Evans: So an example of one of these tasks was find the book Turing’s Imitation Game and the metrics page and you can actually see one of our participants trying to do it in the video above. Alex Evans: We had 42% of users that did this task completed successfully 39% failed and 19% abandoned the task before before they carried on with the race. Alex Evans: So what did we learn here. We learned there was three main key pain points for users on our homepage. When they went to click Alex Evans: search. They were actually picking on broad subjects rather than triggering searches. So the two actions wheren’t distinct enough from one another. They also had difficulty navigating to books from search results pages and difficulty finding the tab once they were there. Alex Evans: So we immediately set about putting into place some improvements. Clarify the difference between search and browse subject, include book cover in search results, make all links blue so they’d be easily be seen as clickable links, and make content tab that was… Alex Evans: So above is a quick example of how the homepage used to look. Web browser subject was in line with search. Now dropped it below the search bar to make the two actions very distinct so people don’t make the same mistake. Alex Evans: when going to do a search. Alex Evans: Moving onto year two, so this is 2018 now. We set ourselves two tasks. The first was challenge yourself to solve a problem within the market and the other was to try something we call hypothesis-based development. Alex Evans: So in the first, we identified a need in the market is research, just wanted to share copy with their peers but their peers didn’t always have access to the same content that they have access to. Alex Evans: So in those cases like download a PDF and they’d go away and they either email it across or upload it to sites like ResearchGate. Alex Evans: And all we wanted to do was was drive the discoverability within our platform so they could find even more content. Alex Evans: So what we did is we came up with the concept that if you have access to an article, you can share that article with somebody that doesn’t have access to it. Alex Evans: It’s a simple link that you just email through and on average those links that generated at the moment are viewed 23 times which just shows that we are solving a real need there. Alex Evans: In terms of relatedness. We did feature trials. So we did our hypothesis based development and our hypothesis was Alex Evans: We believe that by implementing relatedness on Cambridge Core we can assist users’ exploration of content by providing links to related themes and concepts. Alex Evans: This will lead to an increase in user engagement through real-time PDF and HTML downloads because users will be more likely to find content relevant to them. Alex Evans: So we went ran two trials in parallel spanning multiple content types, chapters and articles. Alex Evans: Collecting data on page views number of clicks from the content page and we try to gain a high level understanding on if those clicks actually generated usage beyond the first article. Alex Evans: And I’m really pleased to say that it actually worked out really well for us in one of the trials and we’re actually in the process of implementing relatedness to the site at this moment in time. Alex Evans: Moving onto year three. This was 2019. We really wanted to look at how we could challenge ourselves to be really interactive with our users. So we implemented a tool on our site called Usabilla. Alex Evans: This allows users to submit direct feedback to us at anytime that they want. What this allowed us to do is look at the data and cluster it into unique customer feedback trends. Which we resolved 12 so far and we’re investigating and prioritizing the rest. Alex Evans: Some of the trends that came through in almost immediately once we put usability live, was access representation, which is something that RA21 is trying to resolve. Alex Evans: We also have things like login redirection issues that we weren’t aware of. Something that had crept in, in a deployment once we’d gone live. Alex Evans: So we’ve now gone back, updated our testing, and made sure that that can’t happen again. Alex Evans: And we also managed to resolve some other trends around Alex Evans: for Cheryl, mobile views and also abstract replacement images. Where we show an image of the article where an abstract isn’t available, people were getting confused and thinking that was the article itself without actually viewing the whole thing. Alex Evans: It’s also allowed us to look at net promoter score. Would people recommend our platform to other people? Now this is a very new survey that I’m showing you. Alex Evans: Our score in December was actually 42. Alex Evans: But the thing that we care about the most is: who’s coming to our platform? Are we still catering to the same old or have our users changed? Alex Evans: And also when our users come to the platform what tasks are they trying to complete? Alex Evans: And are they competing successfully? Are they having a good experience? So it’s starting to use that data now to validate where we can improve elsewhere on the site. Alex Evans: We also have the ability to break that down by country which allows us to see if there’s problems isolated with search in a given area or region, for example. Alex Evans: We also were able to do a accessibility audit on our site, which we’ve passed. And we are now WCAG2.0 compliant. And we were also the first website to score above 90% for our accessibility policy with ASPIRE on the site. Alex Evans: So what have been the results for us so far from a business perspective? Well, we’ve seen an average year on year increase of 25% usage. That’s content downloads, our user registrations and sessions and ? are up Alex Evans: By 40% including pages. And we’ve also seen additional revenue growth of 10%. And there’s a couple of charts here showing the top left is showing our combined usage growth year on year and the bottom right is showing year to date Alex Evans: from the previous year. Alex Evans: So let’s have a quick look at the future. So the next piece of work we’ve got coming up and how we’re still trying to adapt to customer needs Alex Evans: is by redesigning our content pages. We set ourselves four objectives here. Increase content usage, improve the online reading experience, enhance our HTML offering, and improve users understanding of access. Alex Evans: And we’ve tried to take this philosophy that first we must discard superfluous stuff before we can decide where we’re going to put things. Alex Evans: So to do this we’ve engaged in a series of research. Understanding font size, font selection, line length and how we can ensure accessibility of the HTML on the abstract landing page. Alex Evans: We’ve got into card sorting exercises with both internal and external users. And one of the really interesting things there was internal and external both share the same results. Alex Evans: Which really shows how those personas work to translate using a user needs internally. Alex Evans: We’ve been going through various design and user testing phases. But I like to point out here as well that internal feedback always comes last for us, because we want to build the platform for our users based on our users need. Alex Evans: Thank you very much for listening to me. I’m happy to take any questions. OpenAthens Webinars: Thank you very much. Alex great presentation. OpenAthens Webinars: So we have a question and it’s around the large amount of data that you acquired from the global survey and the number of stats. OpenAthens Webinars: And also the timeline for gathering that. And so the question is really around your UX design approach and OpenAthens Webinars: were there any areas where you tried more sort of agile methods? Alex Evans: So we always we’re actually an agile team, set up as an agile team. So we’re constantly looking at the data and iterating currently Alex Evans: Normally, actually, when we put a feature live and we did one recently for the implementation of COUNTER5 where we put a UI for downloading COUNTER5 reports live, that we put Google tracking and we also put the usability survey on the page, Alex Evans: gathering feedback from our library and community. And one thing that became very apparent to us very quickly was actually it wasn’t serving their needs. So Alex Evans: … or not in the way in which they wanted it to, at least. So we very quickly adapted that interface and put out a new interface. Alex Evans: Which better cater to the purposes of COUNTER5 and how you run COUNTER5 usage reports. Alex Evans: Large pools of data, generally speaking, are challenging to deal with and we get we get 10s of thousands of responses for example NPS survey. So we try to identify sort of data clusters and data trends, where we can focus in on a particular issue and try to resolve that. Alex Evans: There is also the issue of identifying themes which are not necessarily reflective of the majority and more reflective of a few and that also helps us identify how we should iterate development that we’ve put live. Alex Evans: Does that answer the question? OpenAthens Webinars: Yeah, I had a question, following on from that and OpenAthens Webinars: Just thinking about all that data. I mean, do you, do you guys use AI at all to help analyze all that data. Alex Evans: So not at the moment we are, we’re in the process of looking at tools that can help us do that. We do, what we have done in the last year is Alex Evans: we’ve set up a sort of customer experience team within our department. Alex Evans: Which is led a by customer experience manager and has a couple of people looking at data and trying to identify these trends and do market research to support what we’re finding out from our users. Alex Evans: So that’s been a massive helping us being able to pull out some of these trends, some of these issues and really try to tackle them head on. OpenAthens Webinars: Thank you, Alex. That concludes the questions. And I’d like to hand over now to Damian Stewart, who’s head of UX at Emerald. Damian Stewart: Thanks very much for that. Damian Stewart: Let me share my slides. Damian Stewart: Okay, so yeah. Thanks very much Jane. So I’m Damian Stewart. I’m head of UX at Emerald publishing. Damian Stewart: What I would like to do today. I’m going to take you through our UX journey into launching the new Emerald Insight platform. Damian Stewart: So in 2017 Damian Stewart: We identified that we needed to make a change. Damian Stewart: We didn’t have control, speed or flexibility of our platform. Damian Stewart: And we needed control, speed and flexibility of our platform. Damian Stewart: We needed an open community platform that basically brought our users in contact with our research. Damian Stewart: It needed to have an amazing user experience with a very clean, crisp contemporary UI. It needed to use intuitive technology. Damian Stewart: In 2018 Damian Stewart: we decided that we needed to do some end user engagement. We wanted to understand the needs and expectations of the new platform of our core audience. Damian Stewart: The initial research we undertook with 20 institutions across four different regions, the UK, US Malaysia in China. Damian Stewart: And following on from the research we recruited 12 test partners, based in the four regions. With this group we undertook Damian Stewart: usability testing of the wire frames and prototypes that we created. And this really gave us an opportunity to get a much wider kind of global opinion on what the new platform needed to offer to our user base. Damian Stewart: We wanted to create a continuous feedback loop. So we wanted to create something based according to users needs. We wanted to ship that to the users, we wanted to obtain their feedback and we wanted to improve. Damian Stewart: In October 2018 we launched our private beta to 50 customers. This was a really crucial kind of stage for the future development of the platform because it gave us a real opportunity to understand whether we run the right path and also obtain feedback. Damian Stewart: We kept our users up to date on on a regular basis via regular updates. The emails basically outlined the changes that we’ve made to the platform and encourage them to go to the platform and basicly provide us with any feedback or observations that they had. Damian Stewart: In March 2018 we entered our public beta stage. Damian Stewart: This then gave us a perfect opportunity to obtain more feedback and opened up the channels of communication again with a much kind of wider base. So we looked for feedback via online social and in person. Damian Stewart: To Emerald’s Damian Stewart: library advisory network, which we have 164 members, we created a discussion forum for them. So, to encourage them to come together and have discussions about the developments that we’ve done on the new platform and any changes or modifications they wanted to make. Damian Stewart: And this fed directly back into our into our continuous feedback loop and we took this information and made modifications to the platform accordingly. Damian Stewart: In July 2019 we launched a new platform. Damian Stewart: And obviously we were very, very pleased with what we’d achieved at that moment in time. Damian Stewart: What I’d like to do now is just to take you through the key features of the platform. Damian Stewart: So we created, we wanted the new platform to be very bold and very confident and very striking so we developed the home page have have rotating large bold imagery Damian Stewart: that complemented our research. We brought to search function front and center so it was very clear to the user when they first entered into the system to carry out an initial search. Damian Stewart: When a search result was returned we wanted the search results to be card based. So everything was encapsulated in one place. It was clear what the returned result was. It gave us a brief overview of what the result was and also gave them access to the available content. Damian Stewart: They have the ability to expand a summary section, which provided them more details and access to the abstract and also provided them with more details and access to keywords. Damian Stewart: We also provided them with information about if the content was available to them and also the different formats. The concept was available then. Damian Stewart: We also gave them the ability to filter the actual results. So again, whether they just show the content they’ve got access to or open access content, obviously filtering by year and content type. Damian Stewart: When the user moves into an article page it is very, very cleanly laid out. The structure is very simple and using a lot of white space. Damian Stewart: There’s a simple in-page navigation, which enables users to move seamlessly between sections of the article of the various content types. Damian Stewart: And at the top of the screen there’s also the ability to download the content in PDF format of the appropriate format. Damian Stewart: Accessibility is a major thing that we’re very keen on at Emerald, and we’ve created an accessibility page on our site, which has got our accessibility roadmap. Damian Stewart: The accessibility roadmap obviously outlines the stage where we’re at with reaching back out to point one. We’ve also created a V pack document which is available to to our North America. Damian Stewart: users. Damian Stewart: We’ve also developed relationships with accessibility librarians in different institutions, including Leeds Beckett, Huddersfield and California State universities. Damian Stewart: We release to the new platform every two weeks and all features that I’ve shown you today have been validated by end user engagement. Damian Stewart: The launch was only the beginning. Obviously, we understand that continuous development and end user engagement is key to the success of any platform. And that’s something that we’re very proud of. Damian Stewart: A key part of the create section is our user experience team and the process that we follow. Damian Stewart: We have our own user experience team and you have got a combined experience of over 27 years. Damian Stewart: We follow a trade test refine model. So we follow an agile development process. We have a tribe that split into three squads. We undertake sprints, where we do Damian Stewart: we do whiteboard activities, sketching at the whiteboards, generating initial prototypes and wire frames. Damian Stewart: We then develop, test scripts and go out and test with our users on regular basis. Damian Stewart: And we, we obviously from the testing we then extract the top five most haves which we then taken to the next sprint and we work with our with the full team including dev and obviously project managers to ensure that the most appropriate things are implementing from each test. Damian Stewart: Also following them from the testing aspect is, we, we do a lot of face to face kind of visits to local universities and we’ve got very, very strong relationships with local librarians. Damian Stewart: We also do a lot of testing with ‘try my UI’, which enables us to have a very quick turnaround of results and it’s been proved to be very, very beneficial to the development of the system. Damian Stewart: We also have feedback which is readily available and we obtain daily from the website itself where users can share any feedback. Anything they defined on the platform where they feel it would be beneficial for the team to be aware of. Damian Stewart: Obviously, we understand that, you know, it’s a continuous journey and we want to evolve the platform with the customers at the forefront, helping us to develop the platform in the right way to meet their needs and expectations moving forward. Damian Stewart: Thank you very much. Any questions? OpenAthens Webinars: Thank you Damian. Great presentation. And we do have some questions. So the first question is “How involved was your platform vendor in the platform redesign and can you share any insights on that journey and also who your platform host is? Damian Stewart: So we own the platform. So we obviously with regard to a vendor we work very closely with them. So it’s very much a team effort. Damian Stewart: You know we… it’s very much a kind of…. we really embrace collaboration and working very, very closely with with all of our partners really. OpenAthens Webinars: Thank you. OpenAthens Webinars: Second question. So where did you will renewed focus on the user come from? What was the catalyst behind it? And when you started your end user research were there any surprises or disappointments? Damian Stewart: So our renewed focus really I think obviously Damian Stewart: coming from a strong kind of UX background. Obviously, a user centered design approach is obviously something that that as a company we know the importance of it. Because ultimately Damian Stewart: having the user at the center of our design decisions your ensuring that you’re building something that will meet genuine kind of end user need. Damian Stewart: So I think as a company we understood the importance of that and that’s why Emerald kind of invest in their own UX team and an understanding that Damian Stewart: the importance of regular interactions with librarians and also just the general engagement with end users is key to the success of having a platform, I would say. Damian Stewart: And sorry, I can’t remember the second part. OpenAthens Webinars: I should have asked this in two questions. OpenAthens Webinars: And were there any surprises or disappointments when you first started the end user research? Damian Stewart: So I think there’s always kind of Damian Stewart: I think just the general premise of going out and asking users questions is always kind of things that surprise you that definitely and and also sometimes Damian Stewart: things aren’t don’t work exactly as, as you would expect. But I think what we what we tried to do is just ensure that Damian Stewart: we create something quickly and then test it as quickly as we can to make sure that we… so if you are going to fail you just fail fast and then we can kind of move on and learn from that that interaction and then ultimately ensure it benefits the overall system. OpenAthens Webinars: Thank you. And final question. “Can you tell us a little more about your future plans for continuing to improve the user experience of your platform?” Damian Stewart: Yeah, absolutely. So one of the kind of Damian Stewart: discoverability of content is is a key part for us. It’s definitely one of our key focuses. Damian Stewart: And also our development of browse kind of comes into that as well. And accessibility as I touched on before is obviously something that we’re really, really striving for. We want the WCAG, the AA WCAG2.1 Damian Stewart: on the site. That’s something that we’re really pushing for. And we’re also using user behaviour analytics as well. So we’re going to have, you know, ultimately, that will give us further insights above and beyond all the other activities that we undertake. Damian Stewart: Does that answer the question? OpenAthens Webinars: Ah, I’ve got two more questions! OpenAthens Webinars: I’ll go to this one first. And so someone saying she she doesn’t think the catalyst question was answered and she’s wondering if the UX team was a new addition, perhaps, driven by new leadership. Damian Stewart: So, Damian Stewart: I think it was because we were moving away from having one one particular vendor. So we were ultimately trying to… sorry, the lights have gone out for some reason. Damian Stewart: So we were moving away from having we wanted to take control of our own platform. So we brought Damian Stewart: You know, we moved away from the vendor and we moved to taking control of the platform for ourselves. So I suppose the investment in the UX team was was part of that really. Because Damian Stewart: Emerald understand that that we needed a fully joined up team really to, you know, to be able to build a successful platform. So I think that was that. Sorry, I kind of, I think the question was o long I probably missed that that bit. Damian Stewart: Does does answer the question now? OpenAthens Webinars: Yes, the person asking the question says, yes, that’s great. OpenAthens Webinars: And there is another question. And if users are at the centre of everything you do is that primarily librarian users or end users and there is another question that they’ve asked, but I’ll wait for you to answer that one. Damian Stewart: Yes, so we we’re quite fortunate where we’re based geographically, because we have a number of Damian Stewart: major universities on our doorstep. So we’ve got a great relationship with a number of librarians at the various institutions, but Damian Stewart: But as a result of that, we can also we’ve also got a large pool of students that we can also engage with. So it’s very much a broad brush of people that we that we engage with on a regular basis. Damian Stewart: And also with regards to… I mentioned ‘try my UI’ as well. We found that to be very, very useful because it can be very targeted in the people that you actually Damian Stewart: select that you want the test to go to. And we found that to be, you know, being very, very specific down to, you know, a particular person in a particular role so that’s been quite useful as well. OpenAthens Webinars: And the follow on question from the same person was “Do you find their requirements and responses are broadly aligned, or are they different?” Damian Stewart: Um I think that there are differences. Absolutely. But broadly that they are quite similar as well. So I think because of the platform, we’re trying to make something that’s Damian Stewart: You know, easy to use very simple and a very clean kind of user experience. So I think broadly the requirements are are quite similar really because if the journey is is is relatively Damian Stewart: the same across the different groups. OpenAthens Webinars: Fantastic. OpenAthens Webinars: Yeah, so this concludes the main part of the webinar and thank you to all of our speakers and I’m really impressed that all three of you are working towards the latest accessibility standards. That’s really great news. And we hope that OpenAthens Webinars: other publishers are doing that as well. So I’ll just share my Damian Stewart: Think I need to stop sharing first and then. Yeah. Yes. So OpenAthens Webinars: There we go. So, yes. So thank you to all our speakers and OpenAthens Webinars: if I could just say thank you as well to everyone that’s joining the webinar today. If you could kindly complete our five minute feedback survey and the link will be sent out with the recording after the webinar. OpenAthens Webinars: And you can find out who the winner of our award is at our Access Lab conference. So please do book on and OpenAthens Webinars: have a look at what the the conference program has in store. We’ve got lots of really fantastic sessions, including many library case studies and OpenAthens Webinars: We also have quite a few sessions on the topic of privacy and personalization and the highlight of the of the conference is our panel debate on privacy versus personalization. OpenAthens Webinars: So I know that that’s a hot topic that’s of interest to quite a few publishers and libraries at the moment. So please do have a look at the program and book a ticket, the conferences is on the 19th of March in London. OpenAthens Webinars: Also, just to draw your attention to a couple of resources that we have on UX and UX recommendation. So our UX designer Vee Rogacheva has written a blog and she also presented a webinar in January, so please do have a listen of that recording which can be found from our YouTube site. OpenAthens Webinars: And I just want to also just share this with you as well. So this is the RA21 recommended practices that I mentioned earlier. So there’s a link to those OpenAthens Webinars: I really recommend that you have a look at the recommendations and see how you can start implementing those recommendations on your publisher sites. And as I mentioned, when we run the award again next year, that will be one of the criteria we will be looking at. OpenAthens Webinars: So I just want to say again, thank you all for attending the webinar and we’ll be in touch soon with all the recording links, the survey link and all the resource links as well. And also, again, thank you very much to all of our speakers. They did a brilliant job and OpenAthens Webinars: enjoy the rest of your day. Thank you!

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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