ELSEVIER: digital innovation for scientific researchers

Designing, testing & iterating new product concepts to better support academic researchers with their work.

Project with
Amsterdam, NL – 2015

Elsevier is one of the worlds largest publishers of academic publications. In the transition from print to digital, the company has introduced multiple digital products to better support academic researchers to conduct their work. Because of the potential and impact of this move, Elsevier set up an innovation program to continuously design and evaluate new product & strategic directions; the team focuses on driving discovery and validation of early stage concepts. For one year, I had the pleasure of being part of the team as UX Consultant. 

We worked using an iterative approach where strategists, developers and designers ideated and detailed concept directions by creating prototypes of various fidelities. My role ranged from creating user flows to sketching, wire-framing and conducting some research sessions. As a designer I bridged the gap between users, business stakeholders and developers, ensuring that insights were taking into consideration at all stages of the process.


A key aspect of the program is being in close collaboration with academic researchers themselves; the multiple product explorations were validated and tested with potential users throughout the design process by means of interviews, remote usability tests and longitudinal studies, amongst other research methods. For this, we had access to Elsevier’s network of users, aiming to understand the needs of researchers around the world; this network consisted initially of researchers from five top universities across America, Europe and Asia and later expanded to institutions across the globe.
One of the core focuses during my involvement was creating high value features for Mendeley. For instance, we explored how to further develop the social value of the platform in order to promote cross-discipline collaboration. Another key experiment focused on understanding how to present relevant article recommendations to scientists based on their novelty, usefulness and transparency.

Overall, some of the concepts that were ideated, detailed and validated during my involvement have made their way into live products from the Elsevier family.

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