Author
Graeme Fulton
Skills
IBM Design Thinking, User Research, Usability Testing, Prototyping, Wireframing
Topics
IBMPortfolioDesign

Bluemix is an open standards, cloud platform for building, running, and managing apps and services.

Overview

Working in a team of 13 designers on this project, our task was to improve the way both designers and developers could work together and collaborate when building apps and services on IBM Bluemix.

The outcome

We created a 'share space' within IBM Bluemix that enabled designers and developers to seamlessly collaborate when designing and developing apps. The end product focused on the needs of users to facilitate communication between collaborators working on apps without interrupting their ideal workflows. The research and design process that went into this project has helped the IBM Bluemix team consider how designers and other non coders can leverage the power of IBM's Bluemix platform in creating apps and services.

I cannot go into too much detail about the end product due to nondisclosure agreements, but I can outline the process we used when creating our solution:

Design Process

Understanding and Exploration

Persona Exploration:

  • Our users consisted of both designers and developers who would be collaborating to create apps in IBM's Bluemix
  • We interviewed sponsor users and ran questionnaires to validate our empathy maps and generate personas

Scenario mapping and story boarding:

  • We used scenario mapping to understand the user's current situation, and think about some ideal scenarios that would make their life better
  • We then mapped the user's ideal scenarios to ideas for our UI
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Prototyping and Evaluating

Low fi paper prototyping:

Low fi prototyping enabled us to test a range of different ideas

  • After ideation sessions, we moved our product ideas into low-fi paper prototypes, tested on sponsor users through obeservation tests and interviews, and then evaluated the results and adjusted our designs in response.
  • We also played our results back to stakeholders and took on their feedback on board when creating our solution.

Mood boarding & Hi-fi prototyping:

  • We used mood boarding to help inspire the look and feel that we wanted to achieve for our interface.
  • The high fi prototypes were created in Adobe Creative suite and printed out for user testing to allow for iterations in our designs before moving forward to code.
  • Myself and two other designers then spent a short amount of time building a coded prototype to show that our design was feasible in terms of engineering, and also to further test interactions with users.

After this design process, we had gained a thorough understanding of IBM Bluemix and its users, as well as designing an interface to enable collaborative development and design within the Bluemix.