For a year, I worked on the InfoSphere Streams product, a big data and real-time analytics software. Focusing on visual design, user experience, and design research, I worked with a team to completely rework and redesign the product. While the existing product had great capability, it was certainly not the most user friendly. When assigned to this product, our main task was to strive to better understand the needs of our user, align the style with the new IBM Design Language, and create a simple, intuitive experience in the very complicated field of big data. During my time on the team, I worked primarily on the Streams Studio, a portion of the software for developers to create real-time analytics applications and the Streams console, which is for systems administrators to monitor their ecosystem and applications. Due to NDA, I am not able to show my entire process nor full flows of the product, but I hope the below images help to give an understanding of the project.
Co-designers: Trent Peterson, Kelly Spain, and Shailee Dave.
When I first started on the team, I began by introducing myself to each designer and developer to understand the current state of the product, and started heavily researching the big data space. I went through practice exercises with the software to have a first hand experience on how the product worked, even though I myself am certainly not the target user. I began conducting user interviews and sketching out flows of the problem as it was and flows of new ideas of what the product could be. Below are a couple of sketches from the early stages of the Streams Console and the Streams Studio.
During my time on this team, I was able to lead many research endeavors, including generative user interviews, product design walkthroughs, and client visits. Below is an image of the Mural.ly that I created and organized with my remote team which was extremely beneficial in synthesizing the research together and prioritizing for our design iterations.
During this project, I tried to visually explore many different styles to really elevate this product from what has previously been released and follow the new IBM Design Language. Additionally, accessibility was very large concern for us, seeing at this product would reach thousands of people from all over the world. Each design was heavily tested to make sure that it passed all accessibility rules, yet still looked visually appealing. Here are just a few early color studies:
After many, many wire frames, validating our design iterations with research, and working as closely with development as we could, we were able to create an entirely new style and user experience. Below shows you the before and after states of the Streams Console. The goal of the Streams Console design is to show system administrators as much information on the state of their ecosystem to allow them to spot problems at a glance.
While the most recent release is not quite at the state of the above image, it is greatly improved and scheduled for a future release.