Flexibility, discoverability: using metadata for better user journeys

How a controlled and structured vocabulary frees us from focusing where online content lives. Now we can focus on what it’s about.

One of the main goals of the EMBL Corporate Design Sprint 2 is to enable better user journeys on a future pan-EMBL web architecture. One key aspect is content structure and navigation. Continue reading “Flexibility, discoverability: using metadata for better user journeys”

EMBL sub-brands

We are beginning to look at the thorny issue of EMBL’s sub-brands. Do we need them, and if so, how should we accommodate them in our design system?

A sub-brand is an entity in the brand map that refers to the umbrella brand but carries its own name and strategic positioning. It is distinct and has its own brand assets and standards.

EMBL’s most developed sub-brand is EMBL-EBI, but we have many others such as ELLS, the Science and Society programme, EMBLEM, and a plethora of (somewhat) connected or associated brands such as EMBL Australia, EMBO, Elixir. We also have a lot of disassociated brands, notably in EMBL-EBI’s online services such as Ensembl.

In this post I give you a peek into how we are approaching the issue of sub-brands. Let’s look at the case of the EMBL-EBI sub-brand.
Continue reading “EMBL sub-brands”

Who are we reaching on Social Media?

In this post I share an outline of what I have learned about EMBL’s followers on social media. This is based on my observations and research, as well as third-party data about social media users in general.

Social media users are generally young, well educated and well off, even compared to average internet users. The gap in social media use between people aged 18-34 and those aged 50 and older is significant in every country surveyed. The percentage of people who use social media differs from country to country, as does which social media channels people use (Source: Pew).

Let’s look at each of our channels and see what we can say about our audiences.
Continue reading “Who are we reaching on Social Media?”

Research really at a glance

Since its first edition in 2005, the 132 pages of Research at a Glance have given a detailed description of the scientific focus of all EMBL research groups and teams. This publication is important to many stakeholders and audiences, and is used for a wide variety of purposes. After more than 10 years, and as the importance of online content keeps growing, it was time to update it and reflect better the “at a glance” in its title.
Continue reading “Research really at a glance”

A design language system for EMBL

While working on EMBL’s brand strategy we realised that there is a need for a more systematic way to guide and leverage our collective efforts to build EMBL’s corporate design. So we chose to create a design language system that works across everything we produce, whether in print or digital, thus assuring a cohesive look and feel.

In cd-sprint1 we started to define the basis for a corporate design, which will feed into a sustainable and successful design language system.
Continue reading “A design language system for EMBL”

EMBL news online: tell us your needs!

How you can help us improve the way we share news and updates about EMBL’s activities on our websites

From press releases about our latest discoveries and recaps of alumni or sponsor events to conference announcements or service updates – EMBL has many stories to tell to a variety of local and global, general interest and expert audiences. The digital channels we’re currently using for this are just as diverse:

Continue reading “EMBL news online: tell us your needs!”

The EMBL Triangle Key: From brand structure to information architecture

Last week I wrote about how the EMBL Corporate Design Sprint distilled a brand map into a brand structure. Today I’m writing the second installation with a post on how we’re using those core principles as the base for our brand information architecture (hereafter: IA) and a unique tool: the EMBL Triangle Key.

Continue reading “The EMBL Triangle Key: From brand structure to information architecture”

Selecting a new typeface for EMBL: Fira

[This blog post was penned by the entire team that took part in the first Corporate Design sprint]

We have been using Helvetica Neue as EMBL’s official typeface for some time now. We wanted to test whether this is the best and most sustainable choice for the organisation moving forward. There are few fonts as iconic as the Helvetica family, but it also comes with baggage:
Continue reading “Selecting a new typeface for EMBL: Fira”