Manaswi Shukla   ∙   Thoughts   ∙   Work   ∙   About
VMware Cloud Operations Suite
Defining next generation operations management suite. Helping our customers to better analyze the state of their on-prem and public clouds, and proactively manage operations.
Role
I am leading and managing a multi-disciplinary team of UX designers, researchers and visual designers.
Challenge
VMware offers a set of products, each exposing a limited view of operations management. This requires users to often switch between products, build custom applications or use products from different vendors. In case of a problem, users often need to take into account, different aspects like metrics, logs and cost, in order to analyze and troubleshoot. With each aspect exposed in a different product, it is quite difficult if not possible to get a complete picture. Moreover, the legacy products expose a huge number of fairly custom features, that reflect the backend complexity. Products put a steep learning curve to the users, resulting the products to be shelf-ware in many customer sites.
Approach
As a team, our goal is to present a unified operational view of the infrastructure while simplifying the existing constructs that would help users have a better understanding of their data center operations. Being a massive project, the approach is to look at a persona/customer group to evaluate and redesign each end-end, stand-alone solution areas within the realm of this persona. For each solution area, team is simplifying workflows with deep understanding of users and context.
Primary Data DataSphere
Designing end-to-end experience and building user trust in a data management software.
Role
I worked as the lead designer on the flagship product that allows storage admins to manage their data based on the changing business needs. As a lead, I worked with a in-house designer and a researcher to launch the version one of the product. I collaborated with the product and sales teams to define the product roadmap, and with engineering to deliver to that roadmap.
Challenge
Primary Data provides a new way to manage data in data centers by moving the data across storage devices based on application needs over time. This helps customers to optimize on the use of storage devices and save on future storage needs. As Primary Data automates data mobility, the moving data challenges the existing mental models and current processes to plan for storage. This introduces the challenge of building user trust in this new world, who are letting a company manage their entire data sets. While the system provides power of automation, as humans, the users want to be in control.
Approach
The first version was developed in a fast-paced, iterative manner to provide minimal functionalities that could enable the data intelligence. In parallel, I worked to deliver an experience that helps customer build their trust as they use the product. The goal was to understand the human-product trust building and bringing in key elements that would build trust over time. It also included understanding their current working model to bring those aspects in the product, and provide a gradual path for automation.
Bidgely HomeBeat and Agent Apps
Motivating users to save on energy consumption and reduce utility bills by providing social incentives and insights in their energy consumption.
Role
At Bidgely, I worked on HomeBeat (Consumer App), HomeBeat mobile and Agent (enterprise solution for the utilities). I was leading a team with contractors to provide direction to their marketing and product design, ensuring one brand across all customer touch-points.
Challenge
One of the challenges for bidgely was to make people care about their energy usage. One study showed that an average person only thinks for 9 mins about their energy usage in a year. While their were strategies to inform users of their energy usage, they fell short in creating a long-term engagement. Bidgely provided an energy monitor, that would provide better insights into user’s energy usage. Almost 60% of the customers were unsuccessful in setting up the meter correctly. Bidgely was popular amongst the energy enthusiasts and was looking to increase it’s market with a broader user base.
Approach
For consumers, my strategy was to focus on time to value and start providing them with insights as soon as they sign-up. In conjunction, it was important to streamline the on boarding and device setup process. To improve engagement, I focused on providing insights with the data collected and create short but meaningful interactions that provided users with the insights in-context. Additional social incentives were provided for long-term engagement with the users. Designs were validated through guerrilla and hallway usability studies and web analytics over time.
VMware Software Defined DataCenter Suite
Simplifying provisioning and daily management of large scale datacenters. Defined interactions for a scalable and extensible UI platform.
I led the design for the installation, upgrade, and patching solution for software defined datacenters. The solution allows system administrators to systematically plan and then upgrade their large infrastructures.The challenge was to provide visibility into the complex interdependencies within an infrastructure and allow patching in phases.
I was also leading design for the host profiles. Host profiles are used to ensure consistency and compliance in hosts. The project posed a unique challenge of exposing complex configurations to the users in a simple way. The approach was to modularize the configurations and expose only the commonly used settings, while hiding the nerd-knobs.
Designed end-to-end experience of the upcoming software-defined-datacenter platform. It involved designing a scalable and extensible platform, including internal and 3rd party plugins. The move to a new platform included redesign of key interaction patterns in the platform including navigation & search to resolve pressing usability issues.
Yahoo! Web builder
Designed a web based application for developers to expedite creation of micro-sites on Yahoo! properties and to foster collaboration between development teams across globe.
Role
I was working as the lead designer for the project, working closely with the sales, web-design and content teams within Yahoo!
Challenge
The proposal was to create a web based application for developers to create micro-sites on Yahoo! properties. It provides developers with pre-built components & widgets that can be easily dragged onto the canvas to build a page visually. The platform is collaborative to encourage sharing within and across teams. As part of pitching an ad project, the sales team presented a proof of concept (PoC) to the client. These PoC were to quickly built by the web design teams. It was time consuming to build these concepts in a short turn-around time.
Approach
My strategy was to provide a graphical interface that allows developer to create a proof of concept without going into the code. They could start from the same code base to further refine the website, once the proposal has been approved. The proposal was to improve collaboration amongst globally distributed teams by creating a common library across different teams.
FordDirect.com
Web application that allows customers to build their custom Ford Vehicle and find it in local inventory or get a quote for their custom build.
Bottom of the sales funnel application that allows customers to build their custom Ford Vehicle and find it in local inventory or get a quote for their custom build. I worked as lead designer on many features for this website like compare models, get a quote. I also overlooked a complete visual redesign of the website.
Girl Literacy Project
Girl literacy campaign to inform the rural India about ill-effects of illiteracy. Spreading the message using unconventional media to grab people's attention.
Role
This is an academic project, where I was the sole designer on this project. The project spread across four months from research to final design and production
Challenge
During my field research, I found that one major cause for discrimination against a girl child and women is the inferiority complex. This psychology is embodied in their developing age (childhood to adolescence) when they are encouraged and controlled to behave in the restrictive social paradigm. Moreover, when the girls are devoid of education, they lack social, economic and decision making powers. Hence, it is important to break the existing social beliefs of women inferiority with education and hence empowerment.
Approach
The traditional campaign messages fail to reach the people in many rural areas due to illiteracy prevalent in the rural areas, as people are unable to read the message. Moreover, the campaigns appear mostly in forms of posters or wall paintings with which people do not interact with in their daily lives and ignore in the most part. The focus was to design a campaign using unconventional media which would present the message in an interactive and interesting way.