Design Burst // September 2018

“Show, don’t tell” has been one of our principles since the first sprint. So we’re going to share some of the 80 or so production requests that we handle every month. All of the visuals below were created in September 2018 based on design requests from various stakeholders from across EMBL. Continue reading “Design Burst // September 2018”

Web Retreat Number 3

Last week, the Digital team – together with a few people from Heidelberg IT – spent a couple of sunny days at EBI with our friends in Web Dev. The aim of this third retreat was to discuss and plan the EMBL.org roadmap and identify projects that would address three core areas: technical infrastructure, web development, and enterprise data. Let’s take a close look at each of these areas. Continue reading “Web Retreat Number 3”

Faster scientific websites through reusability

Growing an EMBL-EBI solution into a Visual Framework for the life sciences

Building a website is easy. Building a good website is trickier. Building that good site quickly is hard. And if you want a beyond-hard challenge, also match your organisation’s look, feel and brand requirements. Continue reading “Faster scientific websites through reusability”

Adhering to our principles in latest corporate design sprint

Joint blog post by Ed Dadswell and Tabea Rauscher

Our latest Corporate Design sprint was intended to bring us closer to our goal: develop prototypes and examples of how the EMBL master brand could be implemented across products.

The kick-off meeting made it clear that we should keep our design principles in mind, especially the keep it simple idea. Simple in terms of structure, simple in terms of process, and simple in terms of making the content accessible and targeted to our audiences. Continue reading “Adhering to our principles in latest corporate design sprint”

Modern user research: What is it? How is it done? And why?

Digital products are designed for use. Even simple, text-based websites are consumed by users with a task in mind. Mostly they want to find something specific. Sometimes they might want to get in touch with a real person to ask a specific question. Or apply for a job. ‘Just surfing around’, even ‘reading’ requires a user to navigate.

Modern digital design practice has user research at its core. By understanding the needs, motivations and behaviour of our users means that we can design and deliver the best experience to them. However, sometimes, those needs may be in conflict with organisation goals, product roadmaps, or as I indicated just now, perceived wisdom and stereotypes. It’s our business to challenge those falsehoods with insight and evidence from real people to place the user first in our priorities. Continue reading “Modern user research: What is it? How is it done? And why?”

Digital communications update: July/August 2018

Every month, for a few months, we’ve been sending an update to our department an update in a simple format: what we did last month, and what we’re planning to do next month. Of course, as the team grows, this makes for a longer update but we think the detail is important. It helps us paint a picture of the status of projects and how they may connect to others. And often, the detail in our work is where we find common points of pain, or opportunities to collaborate, with our colleagues. Continue reading “Digital communications update: July/August 2018”

Unshackling content, and their authors

Knot what the user had in mind. Credit: Flickr user Rebecca Dongallo

A Content Hub for better content at EMBL

Even organisations of modest size have web presences where content is hard to reuse and compromised editorial experiences. Even a robust CMS and internal development team is not enough.

Continue reading “Unshackling content, and their authors”

ESOF 2018: big science, little me

To put it simply, EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) is big. At the 2018 conference in Toulouse, there were more than 150 panel sessions, 200 outreach events and 4000 people attending. I’ll admit, I was a little overwhelmed. I’d spent a good chunk of my childhood (and adult life, if I’m honest) wishing to be Hermione Granger with a time-turner, but this time I had to accept that I’m not – I can’t be in two places at once. I was going to have to make some decisions about where to go, what to see and who to meet. With this blog post I’ll give a rundown of the decisions I made that turned ESOF into the unforgettable experience that it was. Continue reading “ESOF 2018: big science, little me”