You may notice that the Europe PMC website looks a little different. Perhaps a little clearer, neater, bolder? More importantly, we also hope that it is easier to use and to find key information about Europe PMC. Yes: we have given the Europe PMC website a makeover to celebrate the New Year!
In particular, we have redesigned the homepage and navigation, and the website is now responsive for use on mobile devices. Over the past few months we have carried out a programme of user research and gathered lots of feedback to improve the site.
Key new features on the Europe PMC website
(1) Mobile phone and tablet friendly – Europe PMC pages now scale according to the size of your screen automatically.
(2) Navigation – the main menu items have been simplified and reorganized to help people find information on Europe PMC, tools, and data more easily. We have added info-graphics to help explain the scope of content and main offerings. The navigation is also repeated in full at the bottom of every page.
(3) Consistency – we have changed the fonts, spacing and link styles to be more consistent and improve on-screen readability.
(4) Accessibility – in addition to being responsive, the site is now much more accessible for people using assistive technologies.
In 2014 we conducted in-depth usability studies on the website, involving 15 people with life sciences research, clinical and information science backgrounds. From this work we were able to identify a number of areas in which the website could be improved. One of these – providing a unified search with a single list of search results – was addressed last year, but our new design has taken more time to mature. We have sought further help from our users along the way during the design process.
We created several design concepts and gathered feedback from over 60 people using an online usability testing tool. We then carried out further usability studies as the website design progressed.
Thanks to everyone who provided time and input into the design of the new site. Hopefully you will be able to spot the implementation of some of your opinions in our new design.