The content view page does a lot on JSTOR. In addition to being the place where users access the article, it’s also the primary place where users find out that they’re not logged in to their university account and are therefore unable to access the content. This page must route people into one of three methods of access.
Until recently, there were also four different designs for the content view page—each built when a new type of content was added to JSTOR.
I saw an opportunity to bring these designs into alignment. I started by articulating a long-term vision of how, instead of separate designs for different content and methods of access, there should be a single foundational content page. I promoted this idea to stakeholders. Simultaneously, I incorporated this vision into the design work I did for shorter-term efforts, even explicitly calling out design elements that could appear in the future to try to reduce surprises.
Over the the course of a year and a half, we created first the basic content view page, and then added the access elements and another two variations of this basic page for additional content types.