One of the most interesting things about creating software that’s used by millions of people is seeing how the ways people use your software agree with what you expected and also the unexpected ways that people use it. One somewhat unexpected thing we’ve realized is that there are (at least!) two distinct modes of use of Mendeley.
Meet Jane. Jane uses Mendeley as a cloud research storage application. Jane is a graduate student who works mostly on her own and has created and participated in a few public groups. She uses groups mostly for the purpose of discovery of new and interesting research, but also to share what she’s found with others in her field, so public groups are best for her. She keeps her papers in Mendeley so that she can access them easily from wherever she is, on her Desktop PC or Linux machine at work, or her Mac laptop at home, which allows her to work on her manuscripts wherever she is. She sees Mendeley as an application which stores her reading history for easy retrieval and she appreciates the Mendeley Suggests feature to help her discover new research. Jane is a real research hound, needing to store over a thousand papers, and appreciates being able to buy extra storage. Most Mendeley users are like Jane, with or without the need for extra storage. (more…)