Crafting the
Cloud Security
Trial Experience
for IBM Security

Overview

As the user researcher and UX designer for this project, I increased IBM Security's multi-segment market visibility, improved customer conversion rates, and fostered a stronger research-driven approach across global teams by uncovering valuable user insights and designing a new, intuitive cybersecurity trial experience. I lead design and research efforts and spearheaded design discussions with design, development, and product stakeholders.

Please note that the showcased design and research are in compliance with the confidentiality requirements of the project.

Design Process | Observe, Reflect, Make

As an ardent User Advocate, in order to ensure user-focused business outcomes, I always strongly consider IBM's Enterprise Design Thinking (EDT). In particular, I felt that two principles needed to be implemented: The Loop — an iterative design cycle of observing, reflecting, making; and Sponsor Users — a collaborative initiative where we engage with real users to increase delivery speed and close the gap between our assumptions and our users' reality. Both principles that I took on to directly implement in this project.

Hi-fi Designs & Prototype | Make

For the Make step of EDT, I created the below designs in Sketch and InVision — in alignment with the initial requirements created by the technical architects and product managers.

The CSS Free Trial experience — registration, status, and dashboard — was created to be a burdenless experience that would enable the user to identify potential risks and concerns in their container environments and to understand how IBM can solve their issues.

Please note that the below designs are confidentiality-compliant draft iterations of the CSS Free Trial design prototype.

UX Research | Observe

After the release of our MVP, I conducted user research sessions as a part of EDT's Observe — in which I interviewed seven participants from India, Sri Lanka, Germany, the UK, and the USA in order to test and validate our product. I lead this research end-to-end — creating research plans, recruitment, interviews, insight mapping, synthesizing research findings — and was able to uncover key user insights in how potential clients leveraged trial cybersecurity experiences.

Some of our key research findings included:

  • Several personas and journeys were involved from the customer side

  • Users were anxious in between steps of the trial experience

  • Users were extremely afraid of destructive actions on their own cloud environments

  • Afraid of hidden costs and accidental contractual obligations

  • Users often noted wanting consultation from senior managers for further action

  • Users wanted a greater specificity as to where their risks and concerns were located

  • Users often had specific questions about cloud trial compatibility which they wanted documentation

The research plan and participant screener was created on Boxnote. Participant recruitment on done on Respondent.io. Research mapping and synthesis was done on Mural.

Outcomes (& Appreciation!)
Deliverables

MVP Testing Insights • Research Synthesis
• Stakeholder Playback • Hi-fi Prototype

Role

User Researcher • UX Designer • Research Evangelist

Stakeholder Playbacks & Research Engagement | Reflect

I delivered research playback sessions to key executive stakeholders and user researchers within IBM Security — in order to fully leverage the Reflect philosophy of EDT. I led positive cross-team discussions where we reflected on the findings and built a nuanced view of our user's needs, so that all IBM Security trial experiences can directly leverage the research insights I had uncovered.

Some of our key insights and design considerations for future iterations included:

  • Utilize status indicators and frequent updates to alleviate user concern and anxiety during steps that might take time

  • Specify required read and write access for our trial experience to operate

  • Surface notable cost and contract details

  • Provide information-disambiguation services like a live chat or FAQ to address immediate issues during sign up

  • Provide convenient share functionality for Terms & Conditions to address concerns over legal and managerial approval

Project Brief

The Container Security Services (CSS) team in IBM Security provides industry-leading end-to-end security solutions for multi-cloud container environments. In order to increase multi-segment market visibility and improve customer onboarding and retention, the CSS team wanted to offer a brand-new digital trial experience that would seamlessly connect to customer's container environments and showcase IBM's industry-leading solution capabilities.

I was tasked with leading the design and research efforts for the launch of this ambitious experience. However, I was onboarded after this project was already few sprints in — albeit, I discovered, without any user research. As such, I lead design alignment sessions with key product and delivery stakeholders, discussing the importance of primary research in order to directly understand who our users are, what their journeys and pain points are, and how to shape our business outcomes around their needs. After many fruitful discussions, I secured buy-in for user research post MVP delivery.

My goals were clear: first, design deliverables given delivery timelines and, then, research and synthesis for future iterations.

My designs led to increased multi-segment market visibility and customer conversion rates as noted by product managers

My design and research work directly led to the successful deployment of the Trial Experience for IBM Container Security Services

My research insights were codified into a IBM Security design pattern to deliver scalable, user-centric, research-driven experiences

My research work has received positive feedback within the IBM Security research community as can be seen below!