OpenAthens announces winner of Best Publisher UX Award 2021

Leading single sign-on provider OpenAthens has announced the winner of its Best Publisher User Experience (UX) Award for 2021.

The identity and access management specialist revealed winner nkoda at its 2021 Access Lab conference which took place on Tuesday 16 March.

nkoda was awarded the accolade after demonstrating how it has put the needs and experience of users at the heart of changes to its digital services.

Founded in 2015, the London-based digital sheet music library, nkoda, has a product and user-centric approach and philosophy. nkoda was selected as a finalist because of the organisation’s product vision and how this serves end-users. Since its inception, nkoda’s product roadmap has been shaped by the musicians that use the digital library for maximum positive impact.

To win the coveted accolade both nkoda and Health Data Research UK had to present their product’s strategic components, application, and evidence to the judges. Both organisations showed great knowledge and care for their UX and end-users.

Ultimately judges decided to award nkoda with the Best Publisher UX Award because nkoda’s design featured strategic UX components throughout that benefited end-users and enabled them to access knowledge easily.

nkoda presented judges with specific evidence that it had embedded UX methods throughout the organisation that made it stand out. nkoda hosted one-on-one interviews, product focus groups and product surveys with end-users which enabled the organisation to properly evaluate what its users thought of its products and how it could improve them. Through its extensive user care nkoda identified the main pressure points across its cohorts and addressed its users’ common desires and underserved needs.

Although Health Data Research UK did not win the Best  Publisher UX Award, judges decided that the organisation will be awarded the new Highly Commended award in recognition of its outstanding contribution to the healthcare and information sector.

Speaking at the conference on the award, Guy Spyropoulos, product manager at nkoda, said: “We are honoured to be recognised by OpenAthens. It proves to us that we are executing, maintaining, and prioritising user experience in the right way. It is also recognition of the hard work that the team has put in to build a platform that makes access to online sheet music easier.

“nkoda exists to support and inspire every musician in the world by helping them to reach their goals. We design the tools, services and products that motivate, encourage and support people on their musical journey. I would like to give a special thanks to our end-users who have continued to drive our service and provide feedback along the way. They have made it possible for us to follow a user-centred approach, something that is really important to nkoda.”

Guy Spyropoulos has been working in product development since 2002 both in Europe and the US. Guy joined nkoda in 2018 as a product manager. He has been integral in forming the product vision of nkoda while shaping and prioritising the product development roadmap based on user value and maximum positive impact on the user experience. 

Commenting on the awards, OpenAthens commercial director, John Bentley, said: “From everyone at OpenAthens we’d like to congratulate the team at nkoda for winning this award, it is well deserved. Both Health Data Research UK and nkoda demonstrated a clear understanding of their UX experience.

“nkoda was given the accolade this year because it showed it had embedded user experience into its strategy throughout. It was not an easy decision as Health Data Research UK also provided extensive evidence of end-user experience.

“This award celebrates innovation in the information industry and those that push the boundaries of user experience, going above and beyond for those that need access to knowledge. Here at OpenAthens we are committed to supporting and driving forward these kinds of innovations, raising awareness and the importance of simplifying access to digital resources.  We hope to continue our Best  Publisher UX Award for many years to come.”

To find out more about OpenAthens services and Access Lab 2021 please visit: