ScienceDirect: A New, Improved Mobile Experience Is Here

1SDAt Elsevier, we recognize that today’s fast paced world requires a mobile experience that gives you, our valuable authors, the flexibility to seamlessly navigate the latest scientific articles, book chapters and news from anywhere—desktop, smartphone, or tablet—on your schedule. With that in mind, we are proud to announce a new, enhanced mobile functionality that puts the power of ScienceDirect right at your fingertips.

While journal articles and book chapters on ScienceDirect have always been available via mobile devices, we realized that the experience had not been fully optimized. Our user research had demonstrated that 30 percent of our researchers were using tablets and 26 percent using smartphones to access academic content. With this in mind, our challenge was to design a better mobile page that not only displayed a lot of information, but was also easy to read.

To achieve this, our designers applied the latest responsive design techniques to bring you a new view that keeps resizing, scrolling, and panning to a minimum. Watch a demo video here.

Friendly. Focused. Fast.

From the beginning, we knew that the input of our users was an integral part of the design process. As concepts progressed, various researchers and librarians were involved in customer testing, providing us with invaluable reactions to prototypes. Besides testing designs, feedback was collected on how users engaged on mobile devices, why they chose certain apps and websites, and the problems they were experiencing when reading articles and book chapters on mobile devices.

Three words quickly became apparent during these interviews. Testers needed the new ScienceDirect mobile pages to be “friendly, focused, and fast.”


3SDReviewers wanted articles and book chapters that invited the reader to dive right in and start reading; the page had to look good and offer a comfortable reading experience.

We listened, and our researchers and librarians overwhelmingly responded that they found the new design  to be good looking, with clear typesetting and a generous font size.


The design goal was to make the articles and book chapters as comfortable to read as possible. With that in mind, we dedicated a majority of the screen to text, tightly grouping the functions at the top and bottom of the screen. The search bar is now located at the top, and handy functionality like navigation, export, and PDF access are conveniently located at the bottom where mobile devices are typically held.

By focusing on the functions that are most often used in ScienceDirect, we were able to keep the mobile interface light and intuitive, giving users the ability to swiftly move around the page to scan content before deciding to read or export to Mendeley, RefWorks, EndNote, BibTeX, and others.


Keeping the user interface simple helped ensure optimum page performance. Users needed content to download quickly and contain responsive navigation. Our goal was to keep the visual as light as possible, with simple pages that provided a superior reading experience.

Our Gratitude

In closing, we would like to acknowledge the researchers and librarians who so kindly gave us their time, allowing us to stay on track and keep our design simple, functional, and intuitive. With their help, we dramatically improved the ScienceDirect mobile reading experience.

Register Today

Whether you choose to catch up on the latest scientific information on your morning subway commute or delve deeper into research for your next book, we’ve got the tools that will keep your mobile experience simple, easy, and efficient.

You’re just a few short clicks away from our new and improved mobile experience. Register today, and the power of ScienceDirect will always be right at your fingertips—on any device. Take some time to explore this latest enhancement from Elsevier and tell us what you think on Twitter @sciencedirect. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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