Category Archives: user experience

Scopus 10th Anniversary Edition overview

Full release notes are available here (.pdf). Below is the full script used for this video.

On February 1st, to commemorate Scopus’ 10th year, we release the most extensive redesign since Scopus launched in 2004.

In this video, we will introduce the key improvements you will see in the Scopus 10th anniversary edition.

The primary goal of the redesign is to optimize core workflows. This means that effort has been made to minimize the number of steps a user needs to take to accomplish the task at hand. Specifically, we have focused on streamlining our interface to support the most common use cases.

Changes to the homepage are relatively minimal as this page was already fairly streamlined.

The main change to note is the addition of “Browse Sources” and “Analyze Journals” links. Previously, these were in the main menu bar as “Sources” and “Analyze”. These links were moved, because they were underused in the main menu where their names were rather ambiguous and they were less visible. In the new location, “Browse Sources” is now equal in stature to the other main content types: Documents, Authors, and Affiliations.

Analyzing journals is the only analysis feature in Scopus that can be used out of context as a standalone tool. As such, it too is called out on the home page as the entry point into a dedicated workflow.

Let’s begin with a quick search.

The document results page has been extensively redesigned around supporting the primary use case of Scopus, which is finding documents to read; and then locating the full text, or, exporting to a reference manager.

The results set has been optimized for quick and easy scanning of results. For example, the font has been chosen specifically for its readability.

Scanning through the results you can quickly see where outward links to full text are available, including image-based linking such as the “Find at Your Library” button.

Upon hover over you can see lesser used links such as “Show abstract” and “Related documents”. Also, the links only appear blue on hover over. Only displaying these at the time of need greatly reduces visual noise thus enabling the user to focus on the results content with minimal distraction.

These updates were made only after multiple rounds of usability testing with two generations of a prototype. The testing ensured that users could still readily locate the hidden links when needed.

Another place you will notice this will be the “View more” links in the “Refine results” panel. It is important to note that all of the existing functionality is maintained both in the refine panel and the results list.

One example of where we minimized the number of steps needed to accomplish primary workflows is the Sort menu. Previously a user had to open a dropdown menu to see the available options and pick from the many available. Most users however only need three sort options:

Newest first is still the default as the number one use case is keeping up with new research literature.

The Second most common use case is trying to determine which research is impactful, by sorting on top Cited.

And the third most common use case is trying to get an overview of a new field of study. For that, users need to sort by most relevant.

These three sort options accomplish over 90% of the tasks users set out to do. The new UI makes them more visible and enables easy one-click toggling between them.

For advanced users, the other sort options are of course still available.

Another change you will notice throughout Scopus is that some buttons and links are deactivated until a necessary action is taken. One example is the “Limit to” and “Exclude” buttons. This update is designed to minimize the number of error messages caused by trying to use these buttons before having selected anything.

Once a user finds a document or documents they are interested in, one of the common next steps is exporting the citation information to a reference manager. One of the most requested features in Scopus has been one-click export. To enable this, we rethought this workflow from the bottom-up.

Currently when a user clicks export, they are sent to an entirely new page where they must make selections each time they export. Now a menu will open instantly in a pop-up window.

Logos have been added to make the needed format instantly identifiable. For example, an Endnote user will no longer have to think about which format they use when making a selection.

You will also notice that an entirely new Export option has been added. With this release, we added direct export to Mendeley. As you can see, this opens the Mendeley Web Importer overlay populated with all the selected documents. You can then save them directly to your Mendeley library

This is where it gets interesting. Notice the message at the top regarding my default settings being saved for this session. Notice also that the Export link has changed to an Add to Mendeley link. This will change to whichever format was chosen. If I had chosen RIS, it would say RIS export.

Now, clicking on this link will instantly perform the export action. In other words, “1 click-export”.

When I log in, this setting is saved for the next time I return to Scopus. Remember, you can register for Scopus and then this feature will be saved for you.

We recognize most researchers only use one reference management tool, so designed this feature with that in mind.Let’s quickly view the first document in our results.

You will notice minimal changes on this page. However, one important change has been made to the sidebar boxes. Previously only 2 documents displayed in the cited-by and related documents boxes.

These links were very popular, so we now display three. While it doesn’t seem like a huge change, this 50% increase in the number of links shown should save users considerable time.

Let’s now return to the homepage and run an Author search.

You will note that the author search pages have been similarly redesigned. One change worth noting is the addition of a filter to view only exact matches. Previously to do this a user needed to run a whole new search. Now this can simply be toggled on or off.

Let’s view an author profile.

While export was the most extensively redesigned feature in Scopus the most extensively redesigned page is the Author Profile. This is the first redesign of the Author profiles since they were released.

The old version had very little information and was not particularly engaging. It now is more similar to the traditional CV format and key interactions have been made more obvious.

The top right hand corner now features a prominent Follow button encouraging the user to sign up to receive email updates when Scopus identifies a new indexed document by this author. This is the exact same functionality as the current set alert link. However, our testing shows that the value of this feature is significantly more apparent to users when the Follow wording is used. More researchers will now sign up to alerts to keep up with their competitors’ latest work.

The other primary actions are clustered in this area: most notably, setting a citation alert and the “Add to ORCID” link.

Links to the three author focused analysis tools are also now clustered together calling attention to those options.

The 20 most recent documents now show, rather than just the two that showed previously. Outward links to full text have also been added. This should save users significant amounts of time by reducing the need to continue on to a further search page.

Similar to the document details page, 3 citing documents now show in the sidebar, rather than the previous 2.

One brand new feature added to this page is the option to Export all. Here, because Mendeley is set as my default reference manager, you see the Save all to Mendeley link. With one click I can then open the Mendeley web importer and import my entire document list to my Mendeley profile.

This example demonstrates how the redesigned one-click export, the new Mendeley direct export, and the redesigned author profile page come together to support a whole new previously unsupported workflow.

The affiliation details page and source details pages have received similar updates as the author profile page. While I will not cover those and the other redesigned pages today, I encourage you to explore on your own once the release is live.

Thank you much for your time.

Scopus March 2012 release overview: New Document Details Pages, Interoperability with Hub, Lipid Structures (beta), etc.

The below slides outline the updates to Scopus released last weekend. While most of these changes have already been announced on the SciVerse blog, this goes into a bit more detail on why the updates were made. It also mentions some of the smaller updates not yet announced and introduces some of what I feel to be the most interesting new SciVerse Applications for Scopus.

For two of the more interesting projects, I would like to go into more detail on the process and rationale behind the changes. One of the most noticeable changes is that the interface of the  main panel of the Document Details (Abstract) page has been completely overhauled.  The primary goal for this revamp was to improve the scanability and readability of the page.

We started with the user research already done for the Article of the Future and the new article page on ScienceDirect. From that foundation, our User-Centered Design group developed a prototype and conducted usability studies with researchers and librarians to determine which design elements transferred to  Scopus. As part of this research, we gathered information on which parts of the page users scan for first. The implemented design then focused on optimizing the visual hierarchy, so that the most used information is more prominent. Fonts were also optimized throughout to make reading of abstracts and other elements easier.

The other most noticeable change is the replacement of the tabs from the Document search results pages. When enabled, these tabs would run a users search on Web and Patent content from Scirus. The new links instead display the results in SciVerse Hub. While all existing functionality remains, Hub offers a lot of advantages to the tab structure. Most importantly, Hub offers improved relevancy rankings and additional refine options.  Hub also collapses multiple copies of the same document into a single record.

As part of this update, we now only display the links if results are available and display the results count in the link. Some readers may remember that this count used to be in the tabs, but was removed. Usage has since proven that display of this count is extremely important for users. The More tab has been replaced by a link to “Secondary documents” that works exactly the same as the tab. Our User-Centered Design group also developed a prototype and conducted usability studies to optimize these changes.

Hopefully the the above slides and description, help to give a full picture as to how the recent updates help improve the Scopus user experience.  Please feel free to leave feedback on these changes in the comments.

Weekly Twitter Activity 2011-08-31