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Winner of our ‘Best publisher UX award’ 2020

Jane CharltonBy Jane Charlton
Category - News

Monday 6th April 2020

We’re pleased to announce the winner of our inaugural Best publisher user experience award 2020 is Emerald Publishing.

Emerald Publishing were declared the winner for their Emerald Insight platform at our online Access Lab 2020 conference on Thursday 19 March. They won the award after demonstrating how it put user needs and experience at the heart its service design.

Why did they win?

Emerald Publishing recognised a user-centred design was important to meet the needs of their users. They clearly demonstrated how they had worked closely with users to understand their needs and user journey. The publisher moved away from an existing vendor to directly manage its platform. Emerald employed a dedicated UX team to take the project forward.

Speaking at the conference, Emerald Publishing’s head of user experience Damian Stewart said:

“It is a great honour to win this award. It really validates that we are doing UX in the right way. It’s also recognition of the hard work the team has put in to build a platform that makes the lives of researchers and readers easier.”

User engagement

Emerald Insight’s design makes research that benefits society easy to discover for the widest possible audience. Co-developed with 18 universities from around the world, the uniquely tailored platform is invaluable for academics, librarians and students alike. Emerald’s communities tested and validated every design decision to make researchers’ and readers’ lives easier.

Benefits to library users

Judges highlighted Emerald’s simple search and enhanced filter together with a crisp, clean UI and simple in-page navigation. These changes allowed users to move seamlessly between sections of articles and the various content types as stand-out features. It was also noted that the organisation is working towards latest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 (see their accessibility statement).

Future development

Future plans for development and commitment to ongoing improvements were taken into account as part of the tough selection process. For example, content discoverability, development of the browse function and user behaviour analytics for further insights feature in their roadmap.

“We would like to give a special thanks to our network of librarians and end users who have continued to provide us with their time. This allows us to follow a user-centred approach –  something that is really important to Emerald and what we do here.

“I’d finally like to give thanks to our partners. Particularly 67 Bricks, which has supported us in building this platform and will continue to support us moving forward.”

Marketing director of Emerald Publishing, Harriet Bell added: “We’re really honoured to win this Best publisher user experience award, among other platforms of such high calibre.

“Our mission is to make research accessible, digestible and enjoyable to discover and read. The experience we can offer users on the Emerald Insight platform is critical to achieving that. We’ve worked hard to try to get this right. It’s a continual process as we learn and adapt to what users want.”

About the award

The newly established award demonstrates OpenAthens’ ongoing commitment to providing simple access to knowledge for the benefit of all.

Emerald Publishing’s ‘Emerald Insight’ was a shortlisted finalist alongside Bloomsbury Publishing’s ‘Bloomsbury Digital Resources‘ and Cambridge University Press ‘Cambridge Core’.

Commenting on the 2020 award winner, OpenAthens chief commercial officer Mike Brooksbank said:

“From everyone at OpenAthens we’d like to say a big congratulations to Emerald Publishing for winning this award.

“We’re thrilled to see how well received the Best publisher user experience award has been in its first year and we look forward to continuing the award in the future.”

“OpenAthens is committed to driving innovation in the information industry. We want to make access to knowledge as easy as possible for end users. With this award we hope to continue raising the awareness and importance of simplifying access to valuable digital resources.”

Watch this Emerald Insight video to hear customers’ responses to service development and some of the benefits of changes to the platform.


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