Aries’ EM/PM Redesign Initiative: An Exciting Look into our Strategic Approach

Aries Systems is dedicated to developing quality web-based peer review and production tracking systems to help publishers transform and revolutionize the delivery of high-value content to the world. Since 2001, our end-to-end workflow management solutions Editorial Manager® (EM) and ProduXion Manager® (PM) have become a leading technology in the publishing industry. As EM/PM continued to expand and evolve over the years through the introduction of new innovations and strategic partnerships, Aries recognized a need to enhance the system’s interface to provide users with the best experience.

Aries recently announced our exciting multi-year, multi-phase user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) redesign initiative. Our focus is to simplify and modernize EM and PM, providing users with a more intuitive and efficient experience through user-friendly interface enhancements and purposeful UX-led optimizations. These updates will greatly improve the usability and accessibility of the system, while incorporating elements of our recent brand refresh to create a consistent experience throughout.

Our Framework

Aries follows industry standard UX/UI best practices; applying the Understand, Analyze, Design, Develop, and Deliver framework. Our teams conduct extensive research on the system and the user’s workflow through system testing and direct user feedback. This data is then used to explore different wireframe options and interactive prototypes for further rounds of review and testing. Once designs are finalized, they are sent to development to be coded and tested before being released to production. Aries’ UX/UI design framework paired with our agile delivery methodology creates a flexible and iterative process to ensure the build and delivery of the most innovative designs possible.

What to Expect

Aries’ strategic approach to the initiative encompasses a multi-year, multi-phase evolution of EM and PM, which allows us to best meet the needs of our users and business. As the project progresses, UX/UI updates will be applied to specific areas of the system while other areas remain unchanged, allowing users the opportunity to get accustomed to the new designs with each release. The first phase of the redesign initiative will prioritize enhancing our most heavily trafficked and most frequently-noted pages for improvement, to guarantee the greatest positive impact across all user workflows. Consecutive phases will target areas of the system by role, starting with the Editor role followed by the Reviewer, Author, and Publisher roles, respectively.

The introduction of a newly redesigned main navigation bar will be the first in a series of UX/UI enhancements to come, quickly followed by an updated Authors and Reviewer Main Menu interface. Both designs will provide a fresh and modern look, while the updated navigation bar will also offer a smarter, more functional layout designed to streamline the navigation experience.

Make Your Voice Heard

EM/PM enhancements are heavily driven in response to direct user feedback, and we encourage members of our user community to participate! As the redesign initiative progresses, we will be calling on users to provide feedback and test out some of our new enhancements and designs. If you would like to contribute to the evolution of EM and PM, please contact your Aries Account Coordinator to opt in as a volunteer. Aries’ UX/UI team may contact users at various phases of the redesign initiative, and levels of participation may vary.

Resources & Support

Updates introduced as part of the UX/UI redesign initiative will be communicated to EM/PM users as they arise. To ensure users receive all the appropriate notices and information regarding future design enhancements to EM/PM, please subscribe to Aries’ UX/UI Initiative mailing list!

Supporting resources will be provided in the form of detailed blog posts, Release Notes documentation, video tutorials, FAQ sheets, training webinars, user group meeting sessions, case studies, and more. Materials may vary per update, and will be made available on the Resources page of the Aries website.

For more information on the Aries UX/UI redesign initiative, reference our FAQ Sheet. Stay tuned for more information on upcoming design enhancements!