Rocket Software

Transforming a legacy product into a legendary tool
Problem

It takes at least 4 input-required steps and 5 different interfaces to run a single Db2 command using the existing software product for IBM mainframe operating systems. Because the product has an outdated user interface and offers minimal assistance, novice database administrators experience a steep learning curve when learning how to work with the command processor.

Solution

The new design revolves around a modern user interface with features catered toward both expert and novice database administrators. Users have access to everything on one screen and the ability to choose to use certain tools depending on their level of expertise with writing Db2 commands.

My Role

UX Design Intern

  • Project Duration10 weeks
  • Skills/ToolsUX Research, UI Design, Information Architecture, Axure

Objective

More than 70% of the world's IT workload still runs on legacy platforms, but schools are no longer teaching engineers how to use these older systems. Rocket Software, an international technology company and major IBM partner, focuses on innovating enterprise system software to help customers continue to thrive in a fast-paced world of new technological developments.

As the second UX design intern in the newly-formed UX team at Rocket Software, I was given the opportunity to learn about and provide feedback for many projects and products throughout the company. My main project was focused on redesigning the Db2 command line processor for database administrators. Since my work is under a NDA, I will focus mainly on achievements from my experience:

  • Streamlined command building experience for database administrators of all levels of expertise
  • Transformed legacy Db2 command line processor into modern user interface which decreased the learning curve for novices by over 80%
  • Presented work to team of managers and software engineers for the new design to be developed and implemented into Rocket Software products
  • Led design thinking sessions to teach new problem-solving approaches to clients with traditional backgrounds in software, which in turn also strengthened customer relationships
  • Spearheaded the design of a data visualization tool during Rocket.Build, a week-long company hackathon, for a team of engineers from Australia
  • Reflection
  • Enterprise design is essential to empowering organizations, supporting banks and airlines, and simply making it possible to get things done. The impact of designing for businesses will affect an entire organization, not merely individual users.
  • When end-users are difficult to reach, maximize learnings by talking to co-workers in your network who have experience with the product or have interacted with those who use the product. Enterprise design is challenging because in many instances your customers are not your end-users, so as UX designers we must still advocate and genuinely empathize with end-users while working with the major stakeholders.
  • Seeing through the lens of a UX designer is powerful. Don't hesitate to champion user experience in engineering-centered environments!
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