Delivering a new platform and experience for over 3000 academic and scientific journals
By the beginning of 2019, it was clear that both the underlying technology and overall experience of the springer.com journal sites were no longer fit for purpose. I was tasked with leading a team to redesign, build and re-platform the entire Springer journal portfolio.
Our goals were to improve the user experience and accessibility of the sites, and encourage researchers to submit their papers to our journals.
To do so, we started by understanding the key user needs for the sites – helping researchers determine if a journal was the right fit for their research; and making the submission guidelines as easy to find and understand as possible.
Throughout the development we kept these core user needs, and the most important information, front and centre. I was responsible for establishing a clear roadmap, prioritising the team’s work on a day-to-day basis, establishing measures of success, and liaising with experts and senior journal editors within the company.
In doing so, I advocated an approach of releasing the simplest, useful version of the site as quickly as possible, getting real user feedback, and rapidly evolving the sites as we went. This was a completely new way of working for many on the editorial side of the company, and so I helped guide them through the process, launching early and demonstrating a commitment to addressing their feedback whilst ensuring our users were the primary audience.
I wrote user guides and delivered training to staff in how to populate the sites with content, and ensured we could gather usage data to inform further development whilst respecting user privacy.
Within four months, we had launched a beta version of all 3000 journal sites, sitting alongside the existing ones. By September, we had moved over to the new sites.
User satisfaction scores improved, and page speeds – a key metric in global accessibility and SEO – more than halved. Just as importantly, we had set the stage for a platform that could be developed well into the future, without compromising user or business goals.
January 2019 – March 2020
Product development, publishing, user-centred design, stakeholder management, platform migration