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Entry deadline extended to 30 November 2020!

about the award | process | criteria | how to apply | judges

About the award

Our award for best publisher user experience puts the spotlight on those publishers that strive to put their users at the heart of their service design with the simple aim of giving users easy access to their content.

The award builds 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.

2020 finalists and winner

The winner of the 2020 award was Emerald Publishing: Emerald Insight

Find out why they won and see their presentation at our Access Lab 2020 conference!

The other 2 finalists were:

Read more about the entries and see their presentation at our finalists webinar.

Entry criteria

1) Evidence of user experience research including:

– UX research methodologies and techniques

– Analysis of attitudinal and behavioural data

– Analysis of qualitative and quantitative data

Applicants must demonstrate their understanding of the user journey and challenges users face when accessing content.

2) Demonstrate good user experience design, for example agile methodology, protoyping, user testing iterative development. Define and evidence key benefits of user experience changes and how these were quality checked.

3) Tangible evidence of learner and researcher engagement throughout the project including user testing at key points. Explain how user feedback was incorporated into product development. Evidence ongoing user testing and iteration.

4) Demonstrate improved user journey for a simple, seamless user journey, for example alignment with NISO-approved RA21 recommended practices.

5) Provide a statement of compliance with 2.1 AA accessibility guidelines.

6) Define user experience goals and objectives, and explain how you measured success. Demonstrate the value, impact and ROI of changes to the user experience.

7) Evidence how a user experience approach was adopted and embedded across the organisation through cross-team and/or external collaboration. Specify key stakeholder groups, the nature of these relationships and how they contributed to the success of the project.

8) Describe your future plans for user research and how a user experience approach has been embedded in your plans for continual product and service improvement

How to apply!

Download and fill out the Submission form: Best publisher user experience award and send back to us before 30 November 2020.

Please email the completed form to

Follow the campaign on Twitter #uxaward21

What is the process?

5 Oct – 30 Nov 2020 Award applications via an online form
11 Dec 2020 Judging panel mark applications
w/c 14 Dec 2020 Meeting 2: Judging panel agree shortlisted applications
4 Jan 2021 Shortlisted applications announced
22 Jan 2021 Short-listed applicants submit learner and researcher attitudes and reactions to changes in the user journey and overall experience. Audio visual or written format both acceptable.
w/c 25 Jan 2021 Meeting 3: Judging panel agree finalists
2 Feb 2021 Finalists announced
2 Mar 2021 Finalists webinar
16 Mar 2021 Access Lab 2021: winner announced

Panel judges

Our marketing manager, Jane Charlton will chair the panel of judges.

Any queries?

Please contact Jane Charlton, marketing manager at OpenAthens.