OiPub Streamlined Academia Access

Creating a front-end design for an online academic paper library

allows researchers, scientists, students, and the general public to access, read and discuss scientific papers.

Building a contemporary, functional front-end

The founders of OiPub approached us to design the front-end of their newly developed knowledge sharing website, created to provide freely accessible academic papers to all readers. Their aim was to offer a new service that would let researchers, scientists, students, and the general public read through scientific articles and essays, allowing them to gain salient information in a quick and streamlined way, as well as to initiate online discussion around the papers’ contents. Our client was already partnered with a back-end developer to build the website’s DNA – they now needed a front-end design that would enhance functionality and bring familiarity to a contemporary audience.

Prioritising hero information and interaction

So how did OiPub’s sharing interface work, and what did a front-end design need to do to enhance its functions? The developers of OiPub created a website where a bank of papers could be fetched through an API, which is a software intermediary that allows two applications to communicate (it’s the same thing as when users check the weather on their phone through an app). In this case, the API delivers information to users in the form of a selection of academic papers on any given scientific topic. All users had to do was key in a search term, and they would receive an instant list of results.

Our job was to ensure that this powerful tool was easy, attractive, and intuitive to use. The first design priority was to avoid a common pitfall found in online libraries, where salient article information is elusive or takes ages to get to. We needed to present the papers’ hero information (date, author, subject, and abstract) in an easy-to-consume layout and structure. This meant keeping all that information together and presenting it in a concise, instantly apparent format. Ultimately, we wanted to avoid excessive scrolling or clicks. We also needed to allow users to easily start or join a discussion about the papers they were reading. The discussion function added to OiPub’s contemporary design, providing users with the ability to easily interact and gain even more value from time spent on the website.

Long-term, low-impact maintenance

Aside from creating a front-end that mirrored the usefulness of the website’s back-end, our goal was to ensure that our design worked with OiPub’s existing systems and conventions, guaranteeing smooth and ongoing upkeep for our client. The result? An easy-to-use, easy-to-maintain site for knowledge gain.

Kind words from the client

Efficient and a pleasure to work with. wearegoat managed to hit all our requirements in what we knew to be a challenging timeframe, allowing us to showcase a gorgeous product to our customer base right when we needed to.

Robert Bianchi, Founder of OiPub