Azure Data

Resource administration

Big opportunity, big data

In the summer of 2015 I was fortunate enough to join what would come to be known as the Azure Data UX team. Over the course of 3 years, my team experienced change and growth in unexpected ways, with a variety of leaders and charters, each with their own strengths and growth opportunities. I worked directly with several engineering and product management teams, most often without much overlap with the efforts of other designers.

A little more consistency

While most of the workload has focused around the administrative experience for Azure’s data services, occasionally opportunities have arisen to improve the consistency of the product story. One such example includes this series of architecture diagrams I produced for use on Azure.com. Previously diagrams had been constructed independently by product managers with little guidance. It was no surprise that they were inconsistent. With limited time, I focused on consistency and clarity in style, color and labeling.

A little more flexibility

A baseline measurement for the success of experiences on the Azure portal framework is consistency with both the platform style and conceptual models. Occasionally convention or team SWAG needs allow a little more flexibility and fun. For these laptop stickers and bag embroidery, I intentionally stepped away from existing product branding. My primary goal was creating a something I’d be excited to share as a representation of my geek cred. The laptop stickers were designed to work on both silver and black laptops, and the stitched sample was simplified to work better for the embroidery machines.

A little progress

While I’ve been actively engaged in efforts towards substantial improvements to our open source analytics offering, HDInsight, much of the progress has been incremental and feature centric. As new features emerged, or adaptation was required, I worked with product leads and managers to define problems, propose solutions and execute plans. My experience working with Azure Search and Azure Databricks was very similar, though smaller in scope.

My Contribution to the Azure Data User Experience

My primary responsibilities involved consulting with product teams to better understand the specific challenges facing our customers. With this knowledge in hand, I revised proposed solutions, updating them as new considerations were discovered.

  • User experience design
  • Interface design
  • A variety of graphic design tasks
  • Light prototyping
  • Product work for Azure HDInsight, Azure Search, Azure Databricks, Cortana Intelligence Suite, and a smattering of confidential or internal projects