A complex project that demanded a comprehensive, user-centered design approach to crafting the solution from the ground up.
NetApp was in the process of building a brand new flash storage solution called FlashRay. The team knew it represented a truly revolutionary leap in the enterprise storage space, and wanted to craft an administrator experience that would be modern, simple to use, and emphasize the game-changing performance of their new solution. EchoUser was put to the task, and defined the product in an end-to-end design engagement.
As we transitioned from research to design, our process involved understanding the basic functionality of FlashRay and what it was trying to accomplish. We spent a lot of time whiteboarding our understanding of the system with both the NetApp and EchoUser teams, and came to establish three major components to the FlashRay system: an Installer, a Dashboard, a Manager, and a Framework to hold it all together.
Wireframing, iterative design, and user testing.
With the conceptual designs for the major FlashRay components fleshed out, we started to generate wireframes. We kicked off a process of regularly generating design drafts, reviewing them with the NetApp product team, and updating the designs based on feedback. With each iteration, we increased both the scope and depth of the designs. We also built interactive prototypes and conducted two rounds of usability tests to solicit user feedback.
Creating the visual design
An overarching component of our design effort was to create a look and feel that reflected a specific product personality. NetApp knew they had a groundbreaking product and it was paramount that users would get that impression. In conjunction with the conceptual and wireframe design activities, we held an internal branding workshop to identify the product traits and personality that the NetApp team wanted from the FlashRay project, and subsequently created moodboards to reflect their vision and serve as a feedback mechanism. After defining an overall visual design direction, we crafted a style guide and library of assets to bring it to life.
We ultimately delivered end-to-end specifications for the FlashRay administrator user experience, including an information architecture document, annotated wireframes detailing key elements and interactions, and a comprehensive visual style guide and asset library.