A DIRECTor OF DESIGNERS
On this page you will find work done at IBM as a Design Director. I am currently in charge of Watson Financial Services, but have previously served in this capacity for the Analytics and Watson Business Units.
Watson for Financial services
Due to the fact that this is a new Business Unit for IBM there is a lot of activity taking place and I am unable to show work in progress publicly at this time. My team is doing a lot of stellar creative problem solving for Regulatory and Finance analysts. It's an exciting space. Products and Services are currently in various stages of development. If you want to learn more about what I am doing in this space just drop me an email and maybe we can talk.
Financial Operations and Performance Management
Operations and Finance have an interesting relationship in organizations of many sizes. Add companies that operate across different countries, each with their own regulations, add varying currencies and their conversion rates, and then introduce different data types and structures. Very quickly you have a complex set of challenges and dependencies that are addressed by different users with different, but sometimes complementary goals. This is quite the portfolio of products, and our team did a fantastic job of delivering here.
Analytics Solutions Design Guide
Design Languages are built to scale. In this case the IBM Design Language needed to find it's own regional dialect for the Analytics Solutions Portfolio. This had to have it's own distinct visual character, but not stray too far from it's roots. The goal of this effort was to maintain not only a consistent and recognizable look and feel across a broad portfolio but to also accelerate the design and development of a family of products.
Cloud Data Services
My team thought a lot about how to best provide compelling experiences to today's Data Engineers and Data Scientists. At CDS we worked with Product Management and Development to ship over a dozen Data Analytics and Data Storage Services to IBM's Bluemix Platform in less than a year's time.
When delivering a series of Services to Bluemix we had to balance aligning with the Platform as well as how to create a distinct look and feel across a portfolio that included standalone product. Users with Data Analytics and Database needs may or may not hopscotch from On Premise to Cloud Solutions depending on their (or their company's policymakers') choice of Public, Private, or Hybrid Cloud environments. Maintaining a shared look and feel as well as common interaction paradigm was critical for successful delivery in this space.
Challenge: Launch a service that does simple data migration from Neteeza to DashDb and DB2 to DB2 on Cloud in less than a month, leveraging existing scripts and capabilities. Design this with iteration and organic growth in mind, accounting for increased connectivity types and capabilities. This was a fun project for the team to deliver on, making the technical and functional requirements for migration clear while distilling the interactions down to simple steps for the end user. Check it out here.
A true story of iterative design, the wires and flows reflect the back and forth required to get the right experience in production at the right time while partnering with Development and Product Management to acknowledge the tradeoffs that needed to be taken in order to ship on time. The final result took into account the needs of the user and the constraints of the technology to provide the best possible value for the cost.
Rock paper scissors
A departure from product, this was a product demo for Spark Machine Learning as a Service capability. Not only could anyone walk up and interact with a hacked together setup that utilized ipads, accelerometers, and an array of sensors to detect hand movement, but the resulting aggregated data view on a nearby television was just as interesting. This was taken on the road all over the world and was well received. A simple concept with an outstanding application resulted in increased awareness and usage of the services leveraged. You can learn more about it here.
The line where the User Experience of a Product and Service ends isn't always so clear. When designing for Cloud based tools Documentation, Sample Code, and Demonstrations are important aspects of a successful delivery. In late 2015 a subset of my team partnered with the Developer Advocacy organization and a vendor to deliver the IBM Developer Advocacy Lab. You can take a look at it in production here.
For the better part of a year my position as Group Experience Director on IBM Watson was to make sure the best possible experiences made it to market across both Products and Services. This included Demo applications, Business Development, Marketing Integration, and always keeping in mind the Developer and Ecosystem Partners. I also instilled confidence in the team, pushing them to iterate quickly at lower fidelities vs. launching into digital tools to start wireframing without considering other approaches. Toward the completion of my tenure I doubled the size of the team, hired my replacement, and split the team into Watson and Watson Health.
Watson DEsign language
First on my to-do list after inheriting the team was to establish an improved Design Language. Integration of Voice and Tone and the sharing of components without commoditization was important. Writing of clear criteria to empower Designers with the logic that needed to be applied was a requirement. Application and iteration ensued.
Watson Knowledge Studio, Watson Discovery Advisor, and several client-specific implementations had updates or launches under my supervision. Each had it's own degree of personality given variant in user and degree of (occasional) secondary branding. Focus was placed on common use case treatment for corpus ingestion, metadata management, and data visualization.
All Watson Services were iterated on during my time as the Group Experience Director. Some received more investment than others, but all saw advances in terms of improvement of experience, regardless of whether or not that took place in the IDE, Documentation, Demo application or inside of Bluemix. Whereas the majority have shipped and evolved again, some concepts remain in Development today.
Watson for education
Working with another Design Principal, we created thoughtful, thorough, and finished designs for use in a public-facing video abstract for use at conferences around the world by Corporate Vice President Stanley Litow and other business leaders. The work done by a very small team has since been continued by other product teams. This was a useful artifact, as within six months Watson For Education became it's own Business Unit.
The screens that were created were a byproduct of an experiment in concept generation at scale. Over 40 Designers spent two hours taking a look at various aspects of curriculum planning and how to leverage different Watson Services to assist teachers.