enhancing visual analytics for businesses
User Experience Design, User Interface Design, Visual Design
User Experience Designer, User Interface Designer, Visual Designer
Report Samples are a collection of visual analytics created as example documents for business owners to quickly jumpstart data visualization for their business metrics. As a User Experience Design and Visual Design intern for the IBM Business Analytics division, I mainly assisted the Samples Team to create and implement new concepts of report samples so that they are visually appealing and easy to use.
With a new release of samples being accessible for the public community to download on IBM Analytics Zone, visuals and interactions had to be redesigned for all the reports.
FRAMING THE PROBLEM
To start the project, I first questioned the use case of each report sample in order to develop appropriate visual communication. The existing issue is that all the visual analytics are merged onto one page, which makes content difficult to read. I also had to research about the topic and IBM products to deepen my knowledge in the field. Next, sketches were done to get colleagues’ feedback.
Afterwards, mockups were polished in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, followed by testing them on either IBM Cognos Workspace or IBM Report Studio (depending on the project). Below are tutorial examples of how I implemented my designs into IBM products to be used as templates.
An iterative design cycle would follow until everything is agreed upon in terms of the visuals and user experience amongst the team, such as providing distinguishable sections rather than having a system that simply “spits out data” and lay it on a page. The ideas were then finalized in IBM Report Studio and IBM Cognos Workspace for customers to download the raw files and make modifications as necessary.
To deliver the project, I worked with User Researchers and Designers, Developers, Product Mangers and Legal Consultants.
Reflecting back, the project was challenging at the beginning because I was not familiar with IBM products, but I managed to hack the limited system with the help of developers. I also strictly applied IBM’s new design language across the new designs, as well as learned to design for accessibility. Now, IBM customers can pleasantly view their business metrics and I have extended the limited capabilities of IBM products.