Bluemine is IBM's trusted digital source for fact-based insights about clients, competitors, and markets. Bluemine aggregates market intelligence and research from subscription-based services into one place, so users don't need subscriptions to each vendor's site. Our team undertook the application's first major redesign, overhauling its information architecture, design experience, interface language and technological infrastructure with an overarching goal: to create a simple but comprehensive community for consuming, monitoring, and sharing insights.
Between March and November 2017, the team conducted 7 rounds of research activities, including interviews, observations, usability tests, and card sorting. A few select findings from early generative research include:
1. Search didn't always come back with relevant results; at times, reports dating back 5 years ago would appear in top results, going against user expectations
2. Finding market answers was time-consuming. Because of how search was structured, the IBMers would need to read through many reports to find a key nugget of information
3. The publishing process was also time-consuming, taking between 30 to 90 minutes to post work content that had already been done
Prior to the redesign of Bluemine, the user flow had many dead ends in the experience. After many rounds of usability testing, we discovered the primary actions that our users tend to take. Our goal was to bring those actions to the forefront of the experience to help users accomplish their goals quickly.
Static hand-drawn sketches eventually evolved into mid fidelity wires in Sketch and Invision and later into hardcoded, clickable prototypes that users could interact with.
We created a consistent UI and UX across every part of Bluemine to help our users intuitively navigate and successfully interact with different sections of our application.
Bluemine helps users find content from external sources as well as proprietary insights from IBM Market Development & Insights (MD&I) and IBM competitive sales teams. Users can also find internal publications, analyst reports, and tools by MD&I and IBM competitive sales teams.
Wireframes shown here may vary slightly from final implemented platform.
In legacy Bluemine, first-time publishers were unable to complete the task of publishing a report without asking a colleague for help. With the new tool, all publishers that took our usability test were able complete the task of publishing a report their first attempt without additional training or assistance.
In legacy Bluemine, publishers often spent between 30 to 90 minutes to fill out the publication form with pre-made content. Post-MVP interviews with IBM publishers found that the new publishing form can be filled out as quickly as 5-15 minutes with pre-made content.
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