I joined Red Hat’s Management and Automation UXD (user experience design) team at the end of May 2020. At Red Hat, UX researchers, designers, and engineers work together to support the company’s vision to become the open hybrid cloud provider. I work primarily on the end-to-end experience of the Ansible Automation Platform on cloud.redhat.com, and contribute to the PatternFly design system as well as OpenShift animations, a new project in the works focusing on motion in UI micro-interactions. I communicate customer needs and use cases with internal, cross-functional teams and work with developers to implement strategies and UX improvements that ensure technical success. Project details and deliverables available upon request.
Ansible Automation Platform UX Expert Review. The Ansible Automation Platform consists of four applications: Ansible Tower, Automation Analytics, Automation Hub, and Automation Services Catalog. To improve the end-to-end user experience of the platform, I conducted a usability review on each application using Nielsen’s 10 usability heuristics for user interface design as a guide. Starting with Automation Services Catalog, I completed user tasks identified use cases, categorized my findings into positive attributes, pain points, and Patternfly 4 updates, assigned each pain point a severity level (high, medium or low), and developed design recommendations for each finding. After formal presentations to stakeholders and discussions with UX engineers and product managers, all identified issues in Automation Services Catalog, Automation Analytics, and Automation Hub were recorded and completed. This is an ongoing effort.
UX Research. Ansible Top Tasks Research a research methodology created to identify users’ greatest priorities in a product and the ease of use of those priorities. The results (N=321) give us a hierarchy of importance that helps us focus on what matters most (“top tasks”) and safely deprioritize less important parts of the product (“tiny tasks”). This serves as the foundation we need to make data-driven strategic decisions moving forward. We now know: 1) user goals when using Ansible, 2) what our users care about the most, and 3) perceived difficulty of tasks.
As of Q4 2020, we are starting a new research initiative, Ansible persona research. The goal of this research initiative is to identify personas for the Ansible Automation Platform as context-specific aggregate archetypes based on factual data rather than stereotypes based on bias and assumptions. We are gathering data through customer interviews focusing on user behavior and goals (the drivers behind behavior), and striving to understand their experiences with automation. We must understand our users’ motivations and needs in order to design for the right problem.
Ansible Automation Platform Onboarding Experience. Currently, the AAP has multiple cloud and on-premise solutions with no obvious linkage between them. As complicated as automation is, each application drops the user into a different empty state without any actionable items. In the short term, we have created 3 versions of a landing page for pre-subscription, pre-configuration, and post-configuration states to create a more cohesive onboarding experience for the user directly on cloud.redhat.com. In the long term, we will be mapping out the entire onboarding process from start to finish, between redhat.com, cloud.redhat.com, documentation, and on-premise solutions. The goal will be to consolidate and streamline the process for the net new user in order to eliminate the frustration of empty pages and opening 20 tabs of documentation. This will be a focus for 2021.
OpenShift/PatternFly Animations. This is a newer project that a small team of UX-ers is working on. The goal of the animation system is to focus the user’s attention on certain elements without unnecessary distractions and implement smooth transitions to celebrate moments in user journeys, add character to UI interactions, and tie together the Red Hat brand. The long-term goal for this project is to create a motion design system for PatternFly that can be populated to all Red Hat products where they apply, similar to Google Material Design. I designed UI animation samples and created motion guidelines (time, direction, movement) to be used as a guide for developing this new design system.
Application and Platform-Wide Documentation. Formal documentation of UI elements, UX treatments and user flows such as empty states, error states, and status labels are ongoing to ensure application and platform-wide consistency and standards.
Smaller (visual) projects sprinkled in, because Red Hat is an open, collaborative environment!
As a member of the UXD team, I also work on PatternFly design contributions, filing and resolving design system issues on GitHub.
For the Automation Services Catalog getting started tour, we wanted to convey its core features and concepts in a high-level view. We wanted to steer away from using UI screenshots, since they get updated frequently and open capture too much information without context or focus. I distilled complex functionalities of Catalog into 3 simple steps, and captured each step through a 5-10 second GIF detailing the process of how it works. This has been well received and requested for other applications in the platform.
For all requests, collaborations, and questions, please reach out to: