Journal and digital library portals are the information systems that researchers turn to most frequently for undertaking and disseminating their academic work. However, their interfaces have not been improved. We propose an articulation of the navigation and search systems in a single visual solution that would allow the simultaneous exploration and interrogation of the information system. Area is a low-cost visualization tool that is easy to implement, and which can be used with large collections of documents. Moreover, it has a short learning curve that enhances both user-experience and user-satisfaction with journal and digital library websites.