Cambridge University Press wins UX Award 2024

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OpenAthens has announced that Cambridge University Press is the winner of its UX Award 2024. Award organiser Jane Charlton declared Cambridge University Press the winner at OpenAthens’ annual online Access Lab event on Monday 26 February for its Research Directions open access journal series. 

This year’s panel judges chose Cambridge University Press as this year’s winner as they clearly evidenced improvements to user experience. Judges were particularly impressed with the publisher’s commitment to accessibility, user-centric approach and cross-team collaboration. Judges also highly commended their use of personae in product development and incorporation of user behavior data and feedback at each stage. 

Now in its fifth year, the UX Award aims to showcase vendors that demonstrate strength in UX innovation and the sustainability of their organization-wide approach to UX. The award aligns with OpenAthens’ mission to remove barriers to knowledge and make access to information as simple as possible. 

Research Directions is a new series of question-led, open access journals that break free of the limitations of the traditional publication model to better reflect the research process. Hosted on Cambridge Core, it leverages peer-reviewed and early research output platforms, and encourages collaboration through an interactive network map. Their user-centered approach defines Research Directions, with iterations based on user research. The platform continues to evolve with further enhancements to user experience. 

Rubem Barbosa-Hughes, head of user experience at Cambridge University Press, said: "We're delighted to have won the OpenAthens UX Award 2024, as it recognizes our dedication to enhancing user experience with our groundbreaking Research Directions open access journal series. Our user-centric approach and commitment to innovation has the potential to truly transform the research process." 

The judging panel made their final decision after this year’s UX Award finalists webinar, where Joint & Bone/ 67 Bricks and BMJ Impact Analytics also presented their work to improve user experience. During the webinar, Sage Publishing also gave an update on improvements made to Research Methods since winning in 2023. 

UX Award organiser, Jane Charlton, added: “Over the last few years we have seen publishers and other library vendors invest more in user experience. Because creating a simple user journey to content and services increases usage and demonstrates the real value of your resource – enabling learners and researchers to access knowledge easily and achieve great things.” 

“Our UX Award champions are leading the industry forward in ensuring researchers get to the content they need, quickly and easily by investing in a business wide UX approach.”