Research Screener: Product roadmap

Laying a roadmap to commercial success by understanding the problem and the customers via UX&D and product strategy.
Laptop displaying the Research Screener website
Laptop displaying the Research Screener website


Product DevelopmentUser ExperienceProduct DiscoveryTechnology


Feb 2021

The Client

Research Screener is a groundbreaking new product that uses machine learning to speed up systematic reviews in academic research.

More than 65,000 research students in Australian Universities have the task of finding research papers relevant to their project. Each individual researcher can spend hundreds of hours screening thousands of irrelevant research papers.

Image of a Researcher searching for relevant research papersResearcher searching for relevant research papers.

While the Research Screener algorithm can screen the abstracts in minutes, the actual overall process is still longer. This semi-automated approach can allow for thousands to tens of thousands of articles to be screened in hours / days rather than months.

The application has been validated in a research paper of its own and is currently being used by researchers in closed beta trials.

The Challenge

Research Screener is gaining traction and seeking to grow their customer base throughout Australia and the world. To maximise the success of the product, Research Screener sought to :

  • Understand their key user segment, the challenges they face and the business levers Research Screener can utilise to overcome those challenges
  • Scale and streamline their key processes for onboarding new users
  • Improve overall user experience to increase retention and satisfaction
  • Have a deeper and clearer understanding of their users, their journey and overall experience when using the Research Screener app in order to improve it.

The Solution

Research Screener engaged Mechanical Rock’s UX & Design Team to research, map and understand their customer journey. Using a human-centred design approach we used a number of techniques to understand the needs of customers and define a better solution for them.

Diagram outlining the human-centred design approach used my the Mechanical Rock UX TeamHuman-centred design approach to understand customers and define a better solution for them.

User Journey Map

A user journey map is a visual representation of the steps a user undertakes in order to achieve a goal, and outlines pain points they experience along the way. The user journey mapping exercise allows teams to discover new opportunities to help alleviate the pain points identified.

Extract of a diagram outlining the current state user journey map for a user of Research Screener.Extract of the current state user journey map for a user of Research Screener.

The Benefits

The fundamental UX&D work that Mechanical Rock delivered for Research Screener lays the foundation for its commercial success and continued growth.

Key Benefits:

  • Identified problems with onboarding, making signups easier
  • Simplified the overall flow of the application, reducing friction for users
  • Provided a clearer picture of what the machine learning engine is doing behind the scenes, increasing the user’s trust in the system
  • Laid out a roadmap for future improvements in user engagement


"I already have referred people to Mechanical Rock. Very professional, very supportive. More than just IT, they care about your business. Very friendly staff, approachable and hard working. The final product was fantastic. Very important to us is that Mechanical Rock listened, to the founders and the users. I hadn’t heard of UX & Design before meeting with this team but now I understand it’s value to my business."

Leo Ng, Co-founder of Research Screener


Get in Touch

Reach out to us and a member of our team will be in touch right away.