Job Opening at Alexander Street Press

by | Jan 6, 2010 | 0 comments

Director, User Experience

Reports to: Vice President, Editorial

Alexander Street Press is an award-winning publisher of electronic databases and collections in the humanities, located in Alexandria, VA. We are recognized by our customers and peers for producing online collections of outstanding quality. We see understanding customer needs and delivering high quality and innovative products as the root of our success. We need a senior person who’s able to balance the trade-offs between long term development and short term development; decide which features are essential for driving usage and which are nice to have; evaluate the market consequences of software architectural decisions; and to ground what should be prioritized. The individual must balance the needs of a portfolio of products covering a range of disciplines and choose the most cost-effective route to increasing usage and improving the user experience.

Main responsibilities include:

  • Presenting the editorial view of technical issues and prioritizing multiple requirements that cut across all our software platforms.
  • Championing the customer perspective for software projects like OpenURL, Federated Search, MARC, exposing content to Google, mobile device implementations, and product usability.
  • Determining strategy for increasing usage. Ensuring our products are easy to use and are used.
  • Securing inbound links from external parties. Manages relationships with OPAC and Federated Search vendors.
  • Working closely with CTO to ensure our technical planning reflects the best balance between speed, cost, functionality, and ease of use.
  • Running usability tests and working with Editors to understand user needs in different disciplines.
  • Working with marketing and sales to explain and train others on our services.
  • Translating requirements into screenshots, demo screens, and specifications for our software. Manage freelance interface designer to create detailed demos and specs.
  • Monitor usage of our existing materials and develop/change our sites accordingly.
  • Attend trade shows relevant to market and usability/interface issues and work closely with Editors to learn about product-specific market issues.
  • Examine functionality in competitor’s products and other relevant online resources (university-based, not-for-profit, government, etc.) and follow consortia functionality requirements.
  • Submit conference papers on ASP’s functionality initiatives and developments in academic technology.

Key success metrics:

  • # of inbound links increases
  • # of sessions per 1,000 FTEs per product increases
  • Usability testing shows improvement in the user experience.
  • Decisions reflect the best balance between speed, cost, functionality, and ease of use.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • 5+ years of library, full-text and bibliographic electronic database experience.
  • 5+ years professional experience working for a library or vendor.
  • A graduate degree (Bachelors degree is required). An MLS or degree in Instructional Design is a plus.
  • An understanding of relational databases, software development, architectures and so on, though no need for formal training in computer science.
  • Experience with MARC, OpenURL, Content Management Systems, Federated Search Engines, SEO, etc.
  • Senior project management skills and experience in lateral management (heading committees, leading teams).
  • Has used, developed, or evaluated databases from several different library vendors.
  • Ability to build and model interfaces in HTML or Photoshop.
  • Experience in running and analyzing the results of usability tests.

Please send a resume and description of how you would fit this role to Andrea Eastman-Mullins, Vice President Editorial, at

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