UX Architect
VMware Cloud

Led dozens of designers from multiple business units to design cloud solutions integrating the entire VMware portfolio. The solutions enabled customer cloud migrations, remote desktops, self-service applications, and other modernization efforts that saved money and accelerated new application development. The adjacent video shows how I summarized our research and designs into an end-to-end customer journey adopted by the executive team as the guiding vision for VMware product experience.

Process and Results

1. Team and Business Context

VMware Cloud was a historic shift to SaaS for the VMware business. I was the hands-on experience lead from first concept through it's success as VMware's most profitable product to it being the central integrating platform for the entire VMware portfolio. I started with a small team of 3 designers and grew that team to dozens of designers across multiple business units. Throughout, I led research, designs, architecture, partner collaboration, and process innovation.

2. Led Design Research and Insights

Throughout my time as design architect for VMware Cloud, I led design research and the sharing of insights with our product partners and executives. To the right is an example summary of a set of research studies I led to understand how customers see the end-to-end self-service experience for adopting cloud data centers. The insights from this research led to many detailed design changes, but also significant changes to product strategy.

3. Detailed Stakeholder and User Personas

When designing for enterprise customers, it is important to think about our customer stakeholders in addition to the hands-on users. It's also important to consider the organizational structure and how teams work together to achieve goals. To this end, I led research and built personas to represent the typical roles in our customer IT organizations. I used these models in my end-to-end story building and also made them available as a template for other product teams.

4. Built Consensus on UI Architecture

I created this Task / Role / UI model to think through options for integrating the many UIs available with existing products. Each team across four business units had different ideas about the right solution. By focusing on specific user roles and tasks, I was able to highlight where the biggest context shift problems were and to show which of the UI integration options would work best for our target users. This model was instrumental in creating consensus among the teams on our UI architecture going forward.

5. Created Initial Prototype

After completing initial user research with "lighthouse" customers, a couple designers and I built this prototype shown at the launch of VMware Cloud on AWS. We showed how a customer could create a cloud data center in minutes when creating the same on premise could take months. We showed "elastic" capacity expansion and the use of cloud REST APIs. These were core value propositions from our customer research.

6. Designed Simplified Networking

The complexity of VMware's networking product, NSX, was a problem. Most vSphere customers had not yet adopted virtualized networks. Primary POC goal for customers was vMotion from on-prem to cloud. NSX was seen as a blocker to fast adoption and successful POCs. I worked with an NSX PM & Architect to design this all-in-one page of simplified networking. Solution was raved about by customers and analysts and a significant contributor to the market success of VMC on AWS

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7. Designed Cross-Service Solutions

VMware was building many services on our Cloud Services Platform. These services were siloed, not sharing workflows or data context. My research showed customers wanted integrated cross-service solutions focused on their desired business outcomes. I designed a vision for an experience where multiple services could be integrated in a common workflow. This design led to new product strategies and backend architecture to support this solution vision.

8. Designed Getting Started Launchpad

As the number of VMware Cloud solutions and infrastructure offerings grew, we needed a platform to help technical users learn and adopt quickly. I initiated and led a team to design a Launchpad concept that users could access publicly, but also get guided workflows once signed-in. The Launchpad provided technical overviews, step-by-step end-to-end journeys, and education resources. All major offerings in VMC now deliver a Launchpad experience. The VMC Launchpad debuted in Fall of 2020 and is now the center of getting started on VMware Cloud.

9. Led Cloud Migration Research

In a design update with then COO Raghu Raghuram, he asked if we could research how LOB app teams are doing cloud migrations. I led a team to design and analyze the results for this study. I interviewed and engaged an external research firm and guided them on the research plan, screening criteria, and questions. Socialized results with Raghu, BU GMs, and other key leaders. Results led to three key insights that shaped company strategy and messaging for VMware Cloud.

10. Iterated E2E Multi-Cloud Story

My research, iteration, and design practice improvements led to a vision for VMware Cloud as a platform for customer success in Multi-Cloud Modernization. I created an E2E Design Story for Multi-Cloud Modernization that embodies our learning and design direction for VMware Cloud. This story is the guiding experience design document for all product teams contributing infrastructure offerings, solutions, and integrated services being developed for VMware Cloud.

11. Facilitated Technical Planning

As part of the design vision work with prototypes, I would work with lead engineering architects to discuss and brainstorm on the technical implications of the designs. I would highlight for my colleagues where I believed the experience architecture required special support from the technology architecture. These slides to the right were for one of those discussion. This sparked great conversations about what was feasible and when and facilitated better resource estimates and planning.

12. Measured Design Outcomes

Throughout my design work, I was measuring outcomes with data from user research and analytics of the live system. Early in the cycle, we would use qualitative methods, though often with some hands-on user interaction with prototypes. My frequent measures were to importance of problems being addressed, how the designs compare to current or competitor methods, basic ease of use, and intent to adopt or recommends. After release of a feature, we would use analytics to measure usage, time on task, and task success rates.