Best publisher user experience award 2022

Read more about our 2022 winner!

best publisher ux 2020 award
De Gruyter logo

About the award

Our award for best publisher user experience puts the spotlight on those publishers that strive to put their users at the heart of their service design with the simple aim of giving users easy access to their content.

The award builds on our ongoing commitment to drive forward innovation in the information industry and to make access to knowledge as easy as possible for end users.

This year’s finalists

Cambridge University Press

In 2020 Cambridge University Press created a new in-house user experience team that works collaboratively alongside their existing agile product function. Their goal was to ensure user motivations, needs and behaviours are understood and met iteratively within their product development cycle. The result has been an intuitive and consistent experience across Cambridge Core landing and content pages, alleviating a consistent pain point for researchers: access to content. 


Visit Cambridge Core

De Gruyter

When 2020 began, De Gruyter’s platform ran on a third-party system with no UX strategy or team and just a few internal developers. Fundamental changes were needed if user experience was to improve. Expanding on user feedback gathered from a two month beta period and working closely with new technology partner 67 Bricks, De Gruyter launched a new bespoke platform and website in February 2021. They recruited a new Director of UX Design and internal development team. Since launch, De Gruyter have iteratively learned about their users, evaluated UX performance, and updated their site in an agile scrum process.

Visit De Gruyter

2022 UX award finalists webinar

Best publisher UX award finalists webinar

During the webinar you’ll hear how our finalists, Cambridge University Press and De Gruyter have put learners and researchers at the very heart of their service design. You’ll also hear from our 2021 winners nkoda about changes to user experience since they won last March.

Judge and weighing scales
Our award judges
  • Todd Carpenter, executive director, NISO​
  • Russell Palmer, assistant director, GALILEO virtual library​
  • Andy Priestner, trainer and consultant in UX research and design
  • ​Bryony Ramsden, subject librarian – human and health sciences, University of Huddersfield
  • Heather Staines, publisher outreach, SeamlessAccess
Two women comparing OpenAthens with similar services

What is the process?

Dates to be confirmed:

  • 23 March – 31 August 2022: Expression of interest
  • Deadline for applications
  • Finalists announced
  • Finalists submit evidence of learner and researcher attitudes and reactions to changes in user experience
  • Judging panel discuss finalists’ evidence of learner and researcher engagement
  • March 2023: Finalists webinar
  • March 2023: Winner announced at our Access Lab 2022 event
Woman writing application

How to apply

Award criteria

  1. We’ll provide more details but these criteria are broadly what we’re looking for:
  2. Evidence of user experience research.
  3. Demonstrate good user experience design.
  4. Tangible evidence of learner and researcher engagement throughout the project.
  5. Demonstrate an improved simple, seamless user journey.
  6. Provide a statement of compliance with WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility guidelines.
  7. Define user experience goals and objectives, and explain how you measured success.
  8. Evidence how a user experience approach was strategically adopted and embedded across the organization.
  9. Describe your future plans for user research and how a user experience approach has been embedded in product development.

Apply for our 2023 UX award!

Simply complete our short expression of interest form and we’ll send you an application form with details of the award criteria. The award application process will officially start this Autumn. 

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Our 2021 award winners

Watch our 2021 finalist webinar

The winner of the 2021 award was nkoda. Find out why they won and watch their presentation at our Access Lab 2021 conference! Our other finalist Health Data Research won a highly commended award.

Our 2020 winner

Emerald Publishing won the award in 2020 for its Emerald Insight  platform. Find out why they won and watch their presentation at our Access Lab 2020 conference! The other two finalists were Bloomsbury Publishing: Bloomsbury Digital Resources and Cambridge University Press: Cambridge Core

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Any queries?

Please contact Jane Charlton, international marketing manager at OpenAthens.

Contact Jane