Case Study
Apps and Websites

McGraw-Hill AccessScience


McGraw-Hill Education

AccessScience is an authoritative and dynamic online resource that contains incisively written, high-quality reference material that covers all major scientific disciplines. An award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, it offers links to primary research material, videos and exclusive animations, plus specially designed curriculum maps for teachers. AccessScience is continually expanding the ways it can demonstrate and explain core, trustworthy scientific information in a way that inspires and guides users to deeper knowledge.

McGraw-Hill Education wanted to refresh their AccessScience website – a robust online collection of award-winning science material for college students. The goal was to achieve better usability and engagement while switching to a new platform.


Much had changed in learning and user experience since the website was created. There were subtle nuances that required consideration. Citations needed to be provided in a very specific format. The former use of design elements based on encyclopedias was no longer relevant to the new generation of learners. The original website lacked a distinction in whether the user was a first-time visitor or a paying subscriber.

Project Approach and Results

We engaged with the AccessScience team in two phases – the first being a high-level redesign for quick user engagement, the second being a complete redesign for user experience and visual design for moving to a new technical platform.

We began the second phase with an eye-tracking usability study at a Tobii Technology lab. The resulting design was easy and engaging for students to browse and search for scientific material.

We designed a unique user experience for people who haven’t yet subscribed. It highlights the value proposition and links to subscribe. The user experience for subscribers focused on the material they have access to without cluttering the screen with the sales pitch to subscribe, since they’ve already subscribed.

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