User experience prize is music to Nkoda’s ears

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Leading single sign-on provider OpenAthens has announced the winner of its Best Publisher User Experience (UX) Award for 2021.

The identity and access management specialist revealed winner Nkoda at its 2021 Access Lab conference which took place on Tuesday 16th March. 

Nkoda was awarded the accolade after demonstrating how it has put the needs and experience of users at the heart of changes to its digital services.

Founded in 2015, the London-based digital sheet music library, Nkoda, has a product and user-centric approach and philosophy. Nkoda was selected as a finalist because of the organisation’s product vision and how this serves end-users. Since its inception, Nkoda product roadmap has been shaped by the musicians that use the digital library for maximum positive impact. 

To win the coveted accolade both Nkoda and Health Data Research had to present their product’s strategic components, application, and evidence to the judges. Both organisations showed great knowledge and care for their UX and end-users. 

Ultimately judges decided to award Nkoda with the Best UX Publisher Award because Nkoda’s design featured strategic UX components throughout that benefited end-users and enables them to access knowledge easily. 

Although Health Data Research did not win the Best UX Publisher Award, judges decided that the organisation will be awarded the new Highly Commended Award in recognition of its outstanding contribution to the information sector. 

Speaking at the conference on the award, Guy Spyropoulos, product manager at ndoka, said: ‘We are honoured to be recognised in this way. It validates that we are executing, maintaining, and prioritising user experience in the right way. It’s also recognition of the hard work that the team has put in to build a platform that makes access to online material easier.

‘At Nkoda we exist to support and inspire every musician in the world helping them reach their goals. We design tools services and products to motivate, encourage and support people on their musical journey. We would like to give a special thanks to our end users who have continued to use our service and provide feedback on it, allowing us to follow a user-centred approach, something that is really important to Nkoda.’

Guy Spyropoulos has been working in product development since 2002 both in Europe and the US; he joined Nkoda in 2018 as a product manager. He has been integral in forming the product vision of Nkoda while shaping and prioritising the product development roadmap based on user value and maximum positive impact on the user experience.

Commenting on the awards, OpenAthens commercial director, John Bentley, said: ‘From everyone at OpenAthens we’d like congratulate the team at Nkoda for winning this award, it is well deserved. Both Health Data Research and Nkoda demonstrated a clear understanding of their UX experience. 

‘Nkoda was given the accolade this year because it showed it had embedded user experience into its strategy throughout, although it should be noted it was not an easy decision as Health Data Research had also provided extensive evidence of end-user experience.

‘The past year has presented many challenges for the industry; however, we are thrilled to have seen so many attend our Access Lab 2021 event and take part in so many of sessions over the two-day event.

‘This award celebrates innovation in the information industry and those that push the boundaries of user experience, going above and beyond for those that need access to knowledge. Here at OpenAthens we are committed to supporting and driving these kinds of innovations, raising awareness and the importance of simplifying access to digital resources.  We hope to continue our Best UX Publisher Award for many years to come.'

To find out more about OpenAthens services and Access Lab 2021 please visit: 



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