Designing the user interface of a data platform that shortens the time of building and deploying real-time data models from months to days

bi(OS)® is the first hyper-converged data platform. It is built by Isima, a $10M seed-funded data analytics company. The platform has helped enterprise users in diverse use cases, including supply chain optimization, churn reduction, trade reconciliation, and fraud detection.

When I was on-board, the backend was ready, but the face of the product to end-users was unknown. As the first and sole UX designer, I was responsible for designing the user interface of bi(OS)® from ground, achieving both delightful customer experience and implementable engineering reality.

Role

UX Designer

My Contribution

As the first and sole UX designer, I led the end-to-end design effort and beyond. See details below.

Techniques

Sketch, Zeplin, Photoshop, Jira, Keynote

This project is under NDA.

What I did

  • Worked closely with the founder on defining product visions
  • Mapped out product flows
  • Sketched wireframes
  • Designed high-fidelity prototypes
  • Crafted interactions
  • Created the initial design system
  • Worked with developers on a daily basis to ensure smooth engineering handoff
  • Hosted weekly design critique sessions, and improve my work based on feedback from external design consultants
  • Presented my design deliverables and rationales to cross-functional teams to get internal buy-ins
  • Participated in daily stand-ups, weekly retrospective meetings, and all-hands meetings
  • Created deliverables for unplanned, urgent needs. Eg. Quick mockups for a client booth happening in 24 hours

What I learned

  • How to collaborate with cross-disciplinary teams. As the first and only designer in the company, I worked with PM, engineerings, QA, and Customer Success teams every day.
  • How to collaborate with cross-time zone teams. Every day in my west coast office, I was working with colleagues based in the east coast and India.
  • How to work efficiently with colleagues, remotely. This COVID-19 phenomenon is not something new to me because it was an everyday situation to me. Since I worked at the headquarter (Palo Alto, CA) while most colleagues were based in India, the majority of my work collaborations were handled remotely. It was challenging, but I managed it well.
  • How to communicate effectively with colleagues, remotely. I started to realize the importance of effective communication since I was at school, and intentionally practice this soft skill through class projects and campus activities. At Isima, I was able to practice it daily, in remote work cases.
  • How to organize and prioritize multiple work tasks, and deliver multiple deliverables with great quality under time pressure.
  • How to handle urgent work under tight time pressure. This was out of my comfort zone at first, but quickly became something I was actually excited to deal with because I could see my growth.
  • How to effectively get internal buy-in. This was a must-have skill for me, as most of my colleagues were engineers. It was challenging at first, but it quickly became a joyful experience because it made my voice heard as a designer and effectively facilitated collaboration.
  • How to keep updated with design trends. As the only designer in the company, it was crucial for me to self-taught, keep gaining professional product design knowledge and skills.
  • How to grow and learn in a fast-moving startup environment. I communicate blockers and exchange feedbacks on specific work in the daily standups and the weekly retrospective meetings.
  • Design sprint process and methodologies. I led multiple design sprint sessions, presenting to the team and iterating my designs based on feedback.
  • Agile development process and methodologies. When handing off my deliverables to engineers, I familiarize myself with the agile process to better facilitate engineering effort.
  • Domain knowledges of BI (business intelligence), AI, and ML.