Best publisher user experience award 2023

Learn more about publisher UX innovations at our finalists webinar on 2 March

best publisher ux 2020 award

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.

The finalists

Oxford University Press

Users needed to visit many resources for OUP’s academic content: Books and journals were separate, and users could not search across them. Now, users can access all this content on a modern mobile-first platform. Journals launched on Oxford Academic in 2017 followed by research books in 2022. With this content aggregated, we are further optimizing UX. Insights feed into the roadmap through ongoing research, including qualitative interviews with users interacting with prototypes or the platform. We validate these through surveys, usage, and behavioural data. This informs how the platform addresses market problems, meeting the needs of users, customers, and partners.

SAGE Publishing

Built upon SAGE’s reputation in social research methods and our belief that good scholarship is at the heart of a healthy society, SAGE Research Methods first launched in 2011 to serve a growing need for comprehensive research methodology support for a range of researchers. Today, the platform hosts over 7,000 resources, from traditional books and reference works to streaming video and innovative research tools.

In 2022 we worked with users to overhaul the site and deliver a clearer, more intuitive interface as well as a renewed focus on their current needs, including performance, accessibility, access and better navigation.

Yale University Press

The A&AePortal is an authoritative eBook resource that features important works of scholarship in the history of art, architecture, decorative arts, photography, visual culture, and design. With innovative image search functionality and extensive metadata, the site offers students and scholars an engaging experience that encourages critical thinking skills and rigorous academic research. The platform was developed with a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and launched in July 2019. Yale University Press has worked closely with art librarians in the US and UK, as well as faculty and graduate students, to define the platform requirements and provide continual improvements.

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:

  • 3 October 2022: Award applications open
  • 21 November 2022: Deadline for applications
  • 9 January 2023: Finalists announced
  • 3 January – 6 February 2023: Finalists submit evidence of learner and researcher attitudes and reactions to changes in user experience
  • February 2023: Judging panel discuss finalists’ evidence of learner and researcher engagement
  • 2 March 2023: Finalists webinar
  • 20 March 2023: Winner announced at our Access Lab 2023 event
Woman writing application

How to apply

Award criteria

We’ll provide more details but these criteria are broadly what we’re looking for:

  1. Evidence of user experience research.
  2. Demonstrate good user experience design.
  3. Tangible evidence of learner and researcher engagement throughout the project.
  4. Demonstrate an improved simple, seamless user journey.
  5. Provide a statement of compliance with WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility guidelines.
  6. Define user experience goals and objectives, and explain how you measured success.
  7. Evidence how a user experience approach was strategically adopted and embedded across the organization.
  8. Describe your future plans for user research and how a user experience approach has been embedded in product development.
De Gruyter logo

Previous UX award finalists and winners

2022 UX award finalists

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.

2021 UX award finalists

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.

2020 UX award finalists

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

Person using a mobile with a Twitter feed, and a laptop

Any queries?

Please contact Jane Charlton, international marketing manager at OpenAthens.

Contact Jane