Category : Miscellaneous

Gotta Be Starting Something

Hello, world! My name is Asad, and I joined Emerald around seven weeks ago as a user experience (UX) Developer. First and foremost, I would like to thank everyone at Emerald. It is not always easy to transition into a new career, meeting new people and learning the ins-and-outs of a business, but the people at Emerald made me feel welcome and made the transition a seamless experience.

To be clear, I have never held the role of a user experience designer before my current position at Emerald. Sure, I had created wireframes, prototypes and assumption based personas, but I had never really delved into UX. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was only skimming the surface. There’s so much more in UX than meets the eye. To be completely honest, I thought UX was wireframing, designing and creating interactive prototypes. Sure, that’s a part of it, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. To get to the wireframing and designing stage, you need to know what you want to improve; you need to plan and conduct research sessions and come up with innovative solutions to problems that don’t just imitate other solutions but improve on them.

 

I think it is fantastic how the team is very well organised, and how we have a set UX process. That does not mean that we do not look for new solutions and software that may make our jobs easier. We have the freedom to look at new software, techniques, process changes and are actively encouraged to share these findings with the team

 

It was up to me whether I wanted to undertake a project myself so I chose to get cracking straight away and began to lead my first project. I was tasked with seeing if we could improve the way our customers consume content from Emerald. To find out what we can do as a business to help our customers find the content they’re looking for faster with as little effort as possible. The research began!

 

I began gathering data on existing methods of content consumption by conducting a competitor analysis with both direct and indirect competitors. I analysed the data that was accumulated to see what the best approach for Emerald would be and used all of that collective information to come up with a potential solution. Finally, I began to create a complete roadmap for tasks (with timeframes) of ways in which we can take the data gathered to create the potential solution I devised and showed key stakeholders to get their feedback.

 

Currently, we’re in the process of conducting further research, which may include wireframes and prototypes (the part I love) to get a better understanding of user requirements and to determine if the solution works for our audiences. To be honest, leading this project was daunting. I have never lead a project before, and I had never done any of the tasks that I was given previously. It was a learning experience, which was frustrating at times, but overall it was a worthwhile endeavour that I have learnt a great deal from. If everything was perfect and people knew every task that they started, the UX role would not exist. I am now at a stage where I am taking on multiple projects simultaneously, and completing tasks that I have also never done before. That is something that I am very proud of. Just remember, experiment, fail, learn, grow, prosper and repeat!

 

I would like to finish off this blog post by providing some resources for UX designers, especially if you are new to the whole UX role (like me), but also for UX pros. You can learn about the different processes that businesses go through, all the different terminology and current best practices (which are always changing). I wish you all the best of luck in everything that you do, whether that is UX or something else.

 

  1. https://uxmastery.com/archives/
  2. https://www.uxpin.com/studio/blog/
  3. https://www.invisionapp.com/blog

 

I have already learnt a great deal, and I am incredibly excited to learn more in the future with Emerald.

 


Explore Emerald Insight on the move

This week sees the launch of our new ‘responsive’ version of Emerald Insight, so grab your mobile and take a look.

I say ‘responsive’ because it won’t completely expand and contract fluidly regardless of the display size, it will snap into place because the page is serving something different depending on the device it is viewed on.

So what? you may think. It’s all just semantics. Well, we want you to know that this is a long-term project and the first in a long line of releases. We may be constrained a little by some platform issues, but we will continue to iterate and improve the site regardless, with future enhancements based on the feedback from our users – i.e. you.

Now that we can offer a tailored mobile experience, we feel we’ve made a big step forward, but we don’t want to stop there. Currently every piece of functionality that exists on the desktop site, is also visible in the mobile experience. Does it all need to be there? Could we strip some of it out? Can we hide elements and present a lighter and more streamlined user experience?

Over the coming months, we will be embarking on rounds of user testing across the globe. Tapping into the expertise of those who interact with our site and products, in order to truly hone the mobile experience and provide our users with all that they need to get the most from Emerald Insight on the move.

So what are you waiting for? Pick up your mobile and have a flick through the site. If you have any comments, thoughts or ideas, please get in touch. Any and all feedback is useful, we would love to hear from you.


Feeding RePEc for content hungry economists

Knowing what researchers need in order to do their job is something that all publishers work towards. A part of that focuses on ensuring content on the subject matter they are researching is discover-able. Over the past year we’ve heard from economists who want to access our abstracts as part of the RePEc service and during the last few weeks we’ve been working to make this happen.

RePEc (Research Papers in Economics – http://repec.org/) is a volunteer maintained project that collects data from various sources, then serves the metadata to users through a variety of different services. Emerald used to provide journal data to the RePEc, but technical issues caused it to fall behind several years ago.

Now, with the new digital teams in place, we are working to get our latest article metadata onto RePEc’s database, with the first steps to make some of our more recent journal metadata available. This is already underway with the creation of a new FTP server, the sourcing and conversion of content which has been successfully tested with a batch of 41 journal titles. Following on from this, we are working to make an automated feed live in January to allow the flow of new journal metadata to reach RePEc faster and with minimal manual intervention. This will then be extended to Book metadata, to better serve the needs of economics researchers.

Watch this space for further updates!


Hello world!

The default WordPress greeting seems appropriate, so I’m going to leave it as it is. Hello World! This the new blog for Emeraldinsight.com, the publishing platform of Emerald Group Publishing.

We specialize in the publication of academic research in business and management fields, but also publish many journals and books in health care, engineering, and education.

What we aren’t is a typical STM publisher.

What we are aiming to be is a user-focused, agile development powerhouse for bringing innovation to scholarly communication and dissemination. This blog will document some of the trials and successes of that journey, and also function as an introduction to the major and minor product enhancements as they are released to the site. We’ll also be looking for feedback and beta-testers, so watch out for those calls soon.

Chris Leonard
Head of Product