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Scientific American redesign by Happy Cog has launched

Wednesday the new ScientificAmerican.com went live. Happy Cog worked on the website redesign, while Roger Black Studios worked on a redesign of the print publication.

As the user experience designer on the project, I had the immense pleasure of working alongside visual designer Mike Pick, front-end developer Tim Murtaugh, project manager Robb Rice, and executive creative director Jeffrey Zeldman.

With an abbreviated timeline, the project didn’t call for extensive user research or usability testing, and I needed to be strategic about how to re-architect the immense amount of content (from the print magazine and online-only) that’s partially accessible to all visitors, partially accessible to print mag subscribers, and partly accessible to online subscribers.

I started off the project with a 5-hour workshop with the 12 key stakeholders using Tamara Adlin‘s ad-hoc personas techniques to:

  1. define the business and project goals
  2. identify the target audiences
  3. brainstorm the key use case scenarios
  4. prioritize features for the redesign.

I was able to gather a staggering amount of intel in a seriously condensed period of time that served me well throughout wireframe development.

The team at Scientific American and Nature Publishing Group were extremely generous with their time and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with them.

Read Jeffrey’s announcement, Scientific American news editor Philip Yam’s blog post, and an article on Media Bistro.

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  1. Wonderful work, Whitney!

  2. Great work,
    Thanks for the peak into the process and the Ad Hoc personas link!

  3. Thanks for sharing your experiences! They are extremely valuable to our community. I’m sure anyone that reads your articles all feel the same way :-)

  4. What a great job, Whitney. Thank you so much for candidly talking about your projects. I’m going to bookmark this post as a reminder that even with major time constraints, the work doesn’t have to suffer. Brilliant!

    • Lori, thank you for your amazing support, as always. The more constraints, the more creative we get. It’s a fun challenge and can yield great results, even if we wish we could’ve done it differently.

  5. Thanks for sharing your work with us Whitney. Would be great if you could go into a little more detail on what UX improvements you added to their site.

    • Jojo, I really wish I could share more of the process and deliverables, but I’m not at liberty to do so publicly. Perhaps if we ever meet up at a conference or event, I can walk you through some stuff.

  6. Great new design! And that’s a lovely bit of Omnigraffle. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Mentioning usability testing, check http://www.userfeel.com, seems interesting.

  8. Hi! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading your posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects? Appreciate it!

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