Industry Templates (VMware)
Industry Templates was an initiative by VMware AirWatch to simplify mobility configurations in various industries by promoting the use of iPads. The goal was to eliminate complexity for IT admins by guiding admins through industry-specific initiatives, and recommending appropriate apps and policies.
Role: Interaction Design, User Research, Product Design
Tools: Sketch, Invision
I have omitted and obfuscated confidential information on this page to comply with my non-disclosure agreement, and the content does not necessarily reflect the views of VMware.
I joined this project in the early stages as the lead Interaction Designer, where some of the tasks I undertook were:
Identifying Use Cases
We worked with the marketing and sales teams at AirWatch to identify the industries that we wanted to focus on for the Templates. These industries had use cases where iPads would be mostly used to increase workers' mobility. We identified 5 such industries for the first phase of the project.
Once the industries were identified, we spoke to multiple people in each to dig deeper. We found out how many different types of IT admins there are. Some IT admins are hired to manage IT operations and devices as their primary responsibility. However, there are lots of employees in the industries we were focusing on who do the job of IT admins in addition to their daily responsibility. For example, nurses and school teachers and office administrators often have to manage devices. Our objective was to make managing devices, applications and policies easier for them.
The next step was to find out use cases in each industry and their most commonly used workflows. We collected data from our sales engineers and customers to identify the apps and policies which are used in these workflows.
Crafting the Flow
The goal of Industry Templates was simple: to allow admins to set up apps and policies, and to assign them to a group of users. However, this was easier said than done, since the AirWatch console is very complicated and has multiple dependencies affecting every component. Some of the design decisions I encountered were around the following flows:
When digging deeper into how apps are added, I had three types of apps to consider:
- Pre-selected apps for each workflow
- Public apps from the app store
- Internal apps admins can add
I understood the different requirements for each type of app and how the added app would tie into our backend. More importantly, I had to ensure that selections were made clear and account for edge cases such as having more than 10 apps being added.
Adding users presented another challenge to the flow. Again, users are stored in a different location which created some technical challenges to this process. I had to work within these constraints so that admins can search for pre-existing user groups and individual users, add them and then display them.
Restrictions and Policies
AirWatch has different restrictions and policies, but for a user this distinction wasn't that important. I decided to simplify the flow by having a single section for both. Since all these also exist in another place in the console, it was important to make distinct statuses visible such as available, default, and modified.
Analyzing User Feedback
Once we had our flow ready, we decided to test it, with a focus on the healthcare industry. Our assumption was that the usability issues for templates would be similar across industries. We conducted moderated tests with all our participants.
- Each participant was given their role as a healthcare admin, background situation and a goal.
- They were provided with a prototype to freely interact with.
- We observed them as they completed tasks and completed the session with a semi-structured discussion.
Overall, the feedback we received was positive. Barring a few UI and content changes, the purpose and tasks were easily understood by our participants. However, we had two big questions to approach for the next iteration.
Based on the feedback, we decided to make some updates.
We also worked with the marketing team on a Story for each workflow explaining all the pre-selected configurations.
Industry Templates was announced in the VMware AirWatch Connect conference in September 2016 with a live preview of the designs. It was launched as one of the biggest updates in the AirWatch 8.3 release in February 2016.
Some more coverage of the release:
This was the first project I worked on as a the lead interaction designer and it was a great learning experience. I learned a lot about how to gather requirements, work with Product Managers to be ahead of the scrum cycle and how Quality Engineers were my best friends in the entire process. I also learned how to prioritize requirements and tasks based on technical constraints.
I was thrown into an agile development environment with a team unaware of what UX design is. It took long hours to develop communication channels with all members of the team to create a project pipeline where UX was prioritized as much as development. I also had a lot of fun finding out details that greatly affected the user flows casually mentioned in daily stand-ups since development didn't think they were important enough.
All in all, it was a great project to work on with an extremely talented team and one which shaped the future direction of the AirWatch console in many different ways.