web design

PLOS (The Public Library of Science) publishes the world's largest online science research journals. But article submissions were declining.


PLOS needed a way to attract more authors. They needed a product that would add value to being published in a PLOS journal. The answer was Channels-a web platform for launching dozens of targeted research collections that would be curated by renowned editors in each field.


Design an attractive display for each of these collections AND design a simple, intuitive CMS for techno-phobic editors to do the curating.

Selecting articles to publish

Editors needed an intuitive process to select and publish research articles for their channel. I created the concept of an “inbox” that would collect suggested articles through automatic scraping, RSS feeds, and individual recommendations. Just like an email inbox, editors would choose to include, feature, or archive suggested articles.

Giving recognition

A key objective of the Channels platform was to increase opportunities for researchers to be recognized for their work. Channel editors are able to choose a “hero article” (dubbed the Editor’s Pick and a handful of “featured articles.”

Testing the concept

Because the Channels platform was going to be used by techno-phobe academics, it was critical to get feedback about the process. PLOS had plenty of representative users in the company so I was able to do rounds of hands-on paper prototype testing before completing the designs.

Building the front page

I designed the CMS to make it as intuitive as possible for our techno-phobe editors. One key to this was for the front page layout in the CMS to match the actual layout in the display.