Applications open for OpenAthens UX Award 2024

Publishers and other library service vendors invited to submit applications for the fifth annual UX Award by 17 November 2023.

OpenAthens launches its 2024 UX Award and invites publishers and other library service vendors of all sizes to apply by 17 November 2023. Jane Charlton, senior marketing manager – community and content, will announce the winner at the online Access Lab event on 26 February 2024.

OpenAthens UX Award showcases publishers and library service vendors that put users at the heart of their service design. All with the simple aim of providing easy access to content and services. Through this yearly award, OpenAthens aims to inspire publishers and other library service vendors to invest in user experience and deliver simple journeys to their content and services.

Now in its fifth year, panel judges decided to expand the award beyond publishers to library systems vendors, research and analytics tools, and other library products and services.

Award organiser, Jane Charlton, explains:

“Library users access a wide range of data, content and analysis services for their research and studies. By expanding the scope of our UX award we hope more publishers and library service vendors will come forward to share their UX innovations and inspire others.”

Two new judges have joined the award panel. OpenAthens welcomes Natasha Den Dekker, lead user researcher at Santander and Jason Griffey, director of strategic initiatives at NISO.

Natasha commented:

“I’m really excited to be involved with the judging for this award. I’m looking forward to using my expertise as an ex-librarian and a current UX Researcher to fairly assess the applications.”

Why you should apply

Librarians and library users highly value simple and easy access to online products and services. It makes perfect sense to keep your users and subscribers happy as they’ll return again and again.

Librarians are very savvy when it comes to how they spend their budget. And the cost-of-living crisis has only heightened the importance of establishing value for money on library subscriptions. Vendors that deliver a great user experience help to drive increased usage and this is one of the key metrics librarians use to decide where to spend budget.

Delivering a superior user experience also helps position your product or service above your competitors. Publishers and library service vendors that put their users first and center will get great reviews. User are also more likely to use your product than a competitor that has not made the same investment in product UX.

You don’t need to be a large vendor to win as nkoda digital sheet music app demonstrated when they won the award in 2021. The esteemed panel of judges will assess all applications based on their merits and how closely they meet the award criteria.

How to apply

Find out more about the UX Award criteria and submit your application form by Friday 17 November 2023. Complete the short expression of interest form on the OpenAthens website and you will be sent the application form.

Previous award winners

Sage Publishing won this year’s UX Award after they demonstrated investment in a company-wide approach to improving user journey and overall experience. Previous winners include De Gruyter, nkoda and Emerald Publishing.

Next year’s winner will be announced online at Access Lab on Monday 26 February 2024.

Contact the UX Award organiser, Jane Charlton, with any queries.

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