Together we designed and developed the tools PLOS now uses daily to publish millions of articles by tens of thousand contributors.
We delivered a custom content management system (CMS) for Journal homepages and Collections pages along with building the Journal homepages and Collections pages themselves. We also designed a new, responsive PLOS Blogs Network, a responsive PLOS.org website, and developed a third CMS for publishing to PLOS.org.
By replacing a labor-intensive process, PLOS updates Journal homepages and Collection pages in a fraction of the time previously required. We are extremely proud to have helped lay the groundwork for PLOS’ continued efforts to promote Open Access scientific publishing.
Boosted productivity with integrated development and design team
We gathered the product manager, UX lead, and engineering team in a large meeting room with a huge whiteboard and set up an agile software environment with user focused design. UX was super lean, beginning with prototypes on paper then moving to Sketch and Invision; features were validated through extensive weekly user studies. We relentlessly pruned the backlog to keep our eye on the prize (and budget and timeline) while planning fors a visionary future.
Because UX was embedded with development, the project moved quickly. As dev pairing teams expressed concern about how much time implementing a feature as designed was taking, UX could simplify the feature or consider proposed alternatives based on the developers' framework expertise. To give PLOS staffers the ability to edit online content as quickly as possible, we reduced development time by keeping the UI barebones. We relied heavily on Bootstrap, free fonts, and FontAwesome icons to do some of the heavy interface lifting.
Iterated features using feedback from weekly user studies
We tested homepage and menu layouts for PLOS.org with the unsuspecting public on all device sizes. We iterated until design and interface met needs of users and stakeholders alike.
Used core model concept to focus content strategy
For PLOS.org, the audience was public — heavily focused on researchers and scientists, but also targeted at folks who may have just heard of PLOS that morning on the radio. Where the CMS that drove publishing to PLOS.org was bare bones, the actual website design moved past minimal and into the blue sky territory.
We tested homepage and menu layouts at UCSF with the unsuspecting public. We tested our designs on all device sizes, from the smallest of iPhones to tablets, laptops and large desktop displays.
Streamlined publishing tools and reimagined Journal homepages and Collections pages
We helped lay the groundwork for PLOS' continued efforts to promote Open Access scientific publishing. By replacing a labor-intensive process, updates happen in a fraction of the time previously required.