Search begins for user experience champions

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OpenAthens has opened applications for the Best Publisher User Experience Award.

The awards, now in their third year, put the spotlight on publishers striving to put their users at the heart of their service design. The industry accolade aims to showcase best practice in providing ease of access to published online content.

Among other things, applications should demonstrate:

  • Evidence of user experience research
  • Good user experience design
  • Tangible evidence of learner and researcher engagement
  • Improved simple, seamless user journey
  • The value, impact and ROI of changes to the user experience​
  • Plans for future development.

The deadline for entries is 30 November.

OpenAthens will announce the winner at its annual Access Lab 2022 conference which will take place online on 22 March 2022.

Chaired by Jane Charlton from OpenAthens, the judging panel includes several high-profile industry experts: 

International marketing manager for OpenAthens, Charlton commented: 'It is an absolute pleasure to be hosting these awards again this year. Our judging panel members are passionate about improving the user experience on publisher platforms. I’m thrilled to be working alongside such a supportive and  and knowledgeable team. These awards have now become an annual fixture. I have no doubt we will receive high quality submissions again this year. It’s great to reward excellence as more publishers realise that a seamless experience is what their customers and users want.'

OpenAthens will announce the shortlist of finalists in early January. Finalists will then submit evidence of learner and researcher attitudes and reactions to changes in user experience later that month.

This will be followed by a 10-minute case study presentation at a finalists webinar in March, ahead of the Access Lab conference.

Last year’s winner was nkoda, a digital sheet music subscription service that gives you direct and unlimited access to the publishers’ catalogues in an app. Recognised for its product vision in serving end users, nkoda’s product roadmap has been shaped by the musicians that use the digital library.

Commercial director, Jon Bentley added: 'We’re thrilled to open applications for this year’s Best Publisher User Experience Award. We  look forward to representatives from across the information industry taking part. OpenAthens works hard to help drive innovation in the information industry and 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.'

Visit the OpenAthens website to find out more about the award and to submit your entry.