The Gale.com redesign restablished the Gale brand name as its own entity apart from Cengage, Gale's parent company. It was designed to deliver the product information necessary for librarians to evaluate a purchase of Gale products. With a new CMS, the Marketing team was empowered to make instant updates, track qualified sales leads, and better demonstrate their contribution to the company.
Research The goal of this research was to understand what drives a librarian, faculty member, and institutions to make a purchase and what information is necessary to facilitate that process. Actual visits to librarians to watch as they used publisher sites were performed to better understand the context of when this information would be retrieved. Often, librarians would do this sort of task in spare moments, making speed of navigation and information processing of critical concern. Personas were created representing a wide range of conceivable users of the site from librarian to student to job seeker. From there, a primary persona was selected and all design decisions referred back to the goals of the primary persona.
Design Design went hand-in-hand with research, involving iterative rounds of design capped by design assessments with actual users. Initial designs were sketched and taken into Axure at a very low fidelity with multiple contrasting designs. From there, the fidelity increased across rounds while narrowing to a single design with the parts and pieces that worked best for users. While the site ultimately boils down to a product catalog, understanding and responding to librarian purchasing habits presents a unique challenge because of the process of purchasing a Gale product often involves approvals from multiple stakeholders and requires a lot of information sharing between librarians and faculty.