Improving the Threat Monitoring Dashboard
for IBM Security

—Overview

As a UX Designer and User Researcher, I improved IBM Security's resolution times and enhanced Service Level Agreements (SLA) performance by leveraging primary user research to design an intuitive, action-rich dashboard for security analysts. I worked along with a UX lead and collaborated with developers, product owners, and executive-level stakeholders to design a user-centered experience that followed IBM's Enterprise Design Thinking principles.

IBM Security provides world-class threat monitoring (TM) services to their customers. To provide this 24x7x365 security, IBM Security has TM teams across geographies that continuously monitor customers cloud environments for security threats. As such, the project brief was to understand the current journey and needs of our users and create a Threat Monitoring dashboard experience.

—User Research | Observe

As part of the Observe process of EDT, we immersed ourselves in the world of our TM users. We interviewed six members from the TM team — two from India, two from Poland, and one each from the US and Costa Rica. We shadowed their day-to-day journey and followed their specific task workflows, noting everything from the tools they used to the small 'hacks' they use to optimize their workflows. All this was captured in a Mural.

—Hi-fi Dashboard Designs & Prototypes | Make

For the Make step of EDT, I crafted several iterative solutions in line with the requirements and insights we'd uncovered during the Observe and Reflect processes. The designs were created with Sketch and InVision, all while in sync with user validation and UX feedback sessions.

The nature of the Threat Monitoring work is that they need to parse a lot of information at once as well as take quick action on any threats that may be detected. The UX was created to be immediately glanceable and actionable.

Please note that the below designs are confidentiality-compliant draft iterations of the dashboard designs.

—Outcomes

  • My efforts towards the research and design of this project led to the successful launch of the new Threat Monitoring dashboard experience to an internal group of Beta testers

  • Product managers noted the improved analyst resolution times and enhanced Service Level Agreements performance.

  • Many individual members of the Threat Monitoring team specifically praised the great ease of use, less clutter, and more streamlined action flow.

  • The dashboard continues to be iterated upon, developed, and used within IBM Security teams.

—Role
UX Designer • User Researcher
—Deliverables
Personas • User Journeys • Insight mapping • Wireframes
• Hi-fi Sketch Prototype

—Design Process | Observe, Reflect, Make

In order to ensure user-focused outcomes for this project, I closely adhered to IBM's Enterprise Design Thinking (EDT) principles. A key element of EDT is The Loop — a design thinking paradigm that focuses on user-centered outcomes through an iterative approach of Observing, Reflecting, and Making.

The Observe, Reflect, Make paradigm was followed at every step of research, design, and delivery for this Threat Monitoring Dashboard project. Furthermore, this design thinking paradigm forms the foundation of my personal philosophy of delivering robust, thoughtful, user-centered design and business solutions.

—Requirements & Needs Statement | Reflect

As part of the Reflect process of EDT, I worked with researchers, project managers, and technical architects to reflect on our observations to help synthesize and analyze findings, build a more nuanced understanding of our user's journey and pain points, and develop a needs statement to accomplish our user-centered business objectives.

The below images are confidentiality-compliant versions of the requirements and needs statement.