We launched our first journal three years ago, but the design of all of our sites has changed very little since then. So, it’s high time we gave all of our web sites a facelift – and today is the day that we reveal our makeover to the world.
Although everyone here at PLoS played a part in the redesign, the principal designer and general star of the project was Margaret Shear.
Her initial goals were to improve usability and to optimize the user experience of our sites. For the technically minded among you, bringing the look and feel of PLoS journal web sites up to contemporary web design standards involved completely regenerating both the HTML structure and the CSS markup to follow web standards. Which is, as you can imagine, a huge undertaking.
In Margaret’s own words “…it is essential that the journal sites support the web-only nature of our publications, taking their stylistic references from contemporary web design rather than traditional scientific publishing. Also, a more edgy feel reinforces PLoS’s mission to break from convention.”
Margaret goes on to explain that “while each site will be individually branded, they will appear as members of the larger PLoS family and be constructed upon the same basic visual elements. The opportunities for users to interact with our sites will be harmonized across the entire PLoS family, creating a fluid and consistent browsing experience."
The newly designed journal sites feature improved organization and enhanced navigation to help you more easily find content that’s relevant to your interests. The sites also contain links for you to send in your comments and questions – we want to know what you think. These redesigns are just another step in the evolution of PLoS publications.
At PLoS, we are trying to engage our community of users as much as we can in order to best meet its needs. And on that topic, remember that the launch of our biggest web community project – PLoS ONE (BETA) – is only a matter of weeks away.