IBM Design Challenge
IBM challenged the students of the Rapid Design for Slow Change class with an unusual design challenge;
to redesign the command line interface (CLI). Specifically, the challenge
asked for the incorporation of BlueMix, a front-end UI service, into the Cloud Foundry CLI.
We were challenged to think beyond the visual design and think more about
a developers flow and experience within the CLI.
Initially, we were two separate teams and after discovering a mutual interest in the project space
we decided to merge. Working with such a large team in a short amount of time required clear communication,
consistent understanding of the problem space, and a deep understanding of the design solution.
We implemented "Pair designing" which allowed for each member to focus on the areas
that interested them most and work with a partner in that problem space. I worked closely with Clark
to develop a user flow with the present CLI interface and we were able to design the solution with our
proposed 5 stage strategy.
To complete this project our team:
- Interviewed UX designers and BlueMix product team members from IBM who are familiar with the product
- Interviewed a BlueMix user to understand how the service is used
- Interviewed two computer programmers to understand their daily flow and understand their pain points
- Interviewed a previous Watson intern and computational linguist to better understand the power of Watson
- Developed user flows and diagrams to illustrate our design solution
- Developed a 5 stage implementation strategy to show how the system changes over time
- Wireframed CLI interface with the 5 stage implementation strategy integration
Diagram of the overall development process to better understand developers work flow and process.
Interviews with developers showed us that error messages in their current state are often
constructed out of arcane codes, are inconsistent, and
often offer no useful guidance for the user to follow to their
We used the persona an 8-bit Jason, to help understand the user journey
of a game developer who wants to push his game to the cloud.
I want to push my game to the cloud as seamlessly as possible.
- Jason, game developer
Train IBM's Watson to help users find solutions to error messages by employing the resources of cloud
foundry, BlueMix documentation, developer forums, and user feedback.
1. Wat ______
Keyword search in terminal to quickly find relevant information
2. Wat com
Error message generates link to online documentation
Context of the error is used to link to appropriate information
3. Wat posts
Error message in terminal provides links to specific posts in IBM help
community, sorted by relevancy
4. Wat solve
If watson is confident of the the error and the solution it will show its
recommendation in the terminal with link to its source
5. Smart answers
Watson acts like your expert programming friend.
The Big Picture
Importance of community feedback and smart search
Just as the developer’s experience using a system
is often decided by the quality of the documentation
and reference, that quality itself is decided by
participation and the community.
By directing developers initially to IBM’s Bluemix
forum, we can move them into a feedback a
loop of community and participation. With more
answers on the forum, Watson returned better,
more contextually aware results. With better error
message results, there will be a greater community
using Bluemix, and more to add to the discussion
We believe that Watson and Bluemix are a perfect
pair, each growing the other.
Documentation and Waltk-through (pdf)