The first few months on the project I was working under another designer before they took another opportunity and I became the lead designer. During this time, the initial user testing consisted of several remote sessions with the advanced user group (McKinsey & Company).
As our power users, they will be using all aspects of the tool. In order to make sure that our more common user group is also able to get the most out of the new analytics tool, we conducted user tests with a few customers remotely while watching them interact with the tool via video conferencing.
IBM Support Portal
How Can We Help You?
In 2015, IBM established the Support Portal New Generation as a Hallmark Project and so began the journey to create the new and improved IBM support experience. After receiving the title as a Hallmark project, the SPNG team realized they needed a designer who could do more than just create strong visuals. The team requested a designer who could think and go beyond just pushing pixels. They wanted a human-centered, visual designer capable of making their vision come to life.
Research, UX, Visual Design
The Team (remote team)
Helped with the web app part-time
IBM Design sprint bootcamp in Raleigh, North Carolina
The Original Support Portal
In the recent years, IBM has begun investing more resources into internal and external software products and services. Example A (photo below) is what the current support experience looks like. A challenge with the current support portal is that information and resources are not located in one central repository. The experience is disjointed and it can feel like hunting for a needle in a haystack.
Focus was home redesign - this was the original homepage
Before I Started
Before joining this project, the lead information architect created a sitemap, provided some base for the information hierarchy, and had initial sketches laid out.
Before I joined the project, the information architect created HTML prototypes (two possible directions shown above) which the team wanted me to initially design around
Search is key, should be front and center
Information on the homepage is ordered in a way that addresses the most common questions and concerns of users
Use new IBM brand guidelines when designing
The redesign should fall into line with other initiatives happening across both internal and external
Room for Improvement
The original experience was disjointed and the lack of a centralized search experience made it very difficult to quickly access information.
Also, common information and links are buried under several layers of menu, a goal would be to surface these quick links for the most common inquiries.
Design Iterations for Dashboard
Mobile Tech Web App
Experimenting with possible dashboards for the mobile web app. This would be used by those that were working in the server farms and needed the ability to view the support portal on the go.
Explored the use of colors, tiles, icons. This project was not implemented during my time on the project it was more about exploring what direction the team could take.
It was very rewarding creating work for a high profile project. Through research, it is very easy to see why it is extremely important for a company to provide a powerful support experience.
What the Team Had to Say
“Britta is wonderfully creative and visionary while working within the constraints of the business world. She delivers visual assets on time and in the form needed by the development team. In her interactions with others, she balances professionalism with being a real person and is fun to work with. I would welcome any opportunity to work with Britta in the future."
— Gregory Bender, User Research Associate Director
"Britta has been a tremendous asset to our project team. She was able to come up to speed very quickly, learn about electronic support and understand our challenges. Britta is a strong designer who encourages the team to think about designing for the user. She stays up to date with current trends but keeps in mind traditional design methodologies. Britta’s communication skills are excellent. She always kept the team up to date on new designs and was quick to react as we accelerated our user interface. She would a great asset to any team."
— Gregory Shalhoub, IT Program Director / Sr. Technology Manager