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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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  • http://jodyferry.com Jody

    Wonderful work, Whitney!

  • http://www.thisisaaronslife.com Aaron Irizarry

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

  • http://www.theiiimpact.com Makoto Kern

    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 :-)

    • http://www.whitneyhess.com/blog whitney

      That’s incredibly kind of you to say, Makoto. Thank you so much.

  • http://catenation.com Lori Widelitz-Cavallucci

    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!

    • http://www.whitneyhess.com/blog whitney

      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.

  • jojo

    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.

    • http://www.whitneyhess.com/blog whitney

      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.

  • http://twitter.com/jimbobc James

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

    • http://www.whitneyhess.com/blog whitney

      Thanks so much, James! Nice work on spotting the Omnigraffle ;)

  • Paul

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

  • http://www.thisnext.com/by/worthkrog1126 spirit animal test

    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!