IBM Patterns

A visual-driven onboarding experience for new users of the IBM Blockchain Platform.
team & role --
UX Designer
Primary and secondary research, affinitization, concept synthesis, low, mid, and high-fidelity prototyping, usability testing

Laila, Celina, Colton, Yafei, Sara, Kyle
6 weeks, 2019

This project was created out of IBM Patterns, an internal program that allows groups multi-disciplinary designers (UX, Visual, Front-end, Research, and Content strategy) to tackle briefs given from teams throughout IBM in an incubator-style, 6 week project.
the challenge --
Blockchain is an emerging technology that has been gaining attention across multiple industries. While the use cases of blockchain are vast, there exists a large learning gap in between grasping the bare minimum concept of blockchain and understanding how it might be able to provide tangible value to a company.
How might we explain the concept and value of blockchain in a way that is easily understood by a range of different levels of domain knowledge?
solution --
A visual-driven onboarding experience to demonstrate the high-level concepts and interdependent pieces of the IBM Blockchain Platform (IBP) for a variety of knowledge levels.
Complex topics, broken down visually.
By clicking through an interactive visualization of a blockchain ecosystem, curious users are able to gain a higher-level understanding of the interdependent pieces such as peers, certificate authorities, and Hyper-ledger fabric.
The right-side modal provides helpful information about each piece of the blockchain puzzle.
Users can watch each piece of the visualization build on top of each other at each part of the step.
Attempting to understand blockchain poses a challenge because of how many complex dependencies exist within the ecosystem. By going through this onboarding experience at their own pace, users are able to learn in a way that visually breaks down explains these interdependencies.

Configure and play.
While going through the experience, a viewer can configure parts of the visualization, such as how many peers they would want in their network or if they expect to have multiple organizations in their network. The budget bar at the bottom left indicates how the price might be affected if they create those configurations.
Example of a user changing the configuration of how many ordering services (OS) they might need in their network.
Budget bar indicating the relative cost estimate of the blockchain network, based on the user's configurations
From curiosity to commitment.
For genuinely interested prospective buyers, this experience allows for users to export the configurations of their visualization directly into the IBM Blockchain Platform, further streamlining the set-up process to get their blockchain network started.
process --
Our team's process spanned 5 weeks, from understanding the problem space through research to sharing the vision with internal stakeholders.
Existing user flow
To gain a better understanding of the blockchain consideration process for interested users, we mapped out the user flow of someone getting started with the IBM Blockchain Platform from initial interest/discovery, evaluation, to getting started with the platform itself.
Once we had identified the primary points of the user flow, we began affinitizing our thoughts and sorting our opportunities of where to improve.

Along with mapping out the user flow, we interviewed a set of internal and external experts on their experience with implementing enterprise blockchain solutions. These interviews helped us get a better sense of the pain points specific to IBM's Blockchain platform onboarding experience.