Platform Messaging 



The IBM Cloud console team is compromised of the core functionality including global navigation, dashboard views, category pages, support, search, and account management. The core UI team is preparing for major releases that will effect all users on the platform. 

My role as a UX designer was to research ways of introducing feature updates and to come up with a strategy and design a component to use in the platform collaborating with my design lead.  

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The Problem

Informing without overwhelming users

The console team has been working on ways to expand and scale our growing platform. Some of these updates include unifying our brand identity from Bluemix to IBM Cloud and shifting from a Cloud Foundry foundation to Resource Groups. 

We need to briefly inform users of updates without overwhelming them or expecting them to read a long document. Users need high level information of how the changes will work to increase new feature adoption with minimal support tickets. 

Needs statement: The core team needs a way to introduce major platform updates to our customers without overburdening them.

Current methods IBM uses for announcements and learning  



Focusing on how to inform all users 

We needed to determine what type of notification would work best for our users and could be easily implemented with our resources. There are existing forms the platform currently uses for notifications such as Intercom, email nurture campaigns, and blog posts. Some other forms used in the industry include in app tour or walk throughs and notification logs. 

Since platform wide updates effect all users we found it was important to have more than one form of notification and that we break up our audience to provide messaging most beneficial to them.

We divided our user base into two user segments: existing and new users. By doing this we were able to focus on the greater problem of how we can inform all users rather than focusing in smaller one off areas without any control. 


Prioritizing one off messaging topics by user segments


Content Strategy


Members in our team are the subject matter experts on the updates. We decided to harness everyone’s knowledge by using collaborative brainstorming sessions to develop content.

  1. To start, we listed out every feature update
  2. We then brought in knowledgable designers, offering managers, developers, and researchers and had them define and explain how the updates work
  3. We complied the answers and sorted them by user segment

By looping in everyone, we were able to align on content and have a well rounded understanding of how to explain the platform updates. Additionally we were able to develop two forms of messaging that would speak to both new and existing users. 


Collaborating on content with different members of our team


Design Concepts  

Informing visually with minimal content 

Messaging interaction:

We needed to consider where messaging fits in conjunction to other announcements such as marketing campaigns. We also needed to determine how can we best inform users in the context of what they are looking to accomplish when logging back into the console. Existing users are looking to get in and out and need messaging to quickly inform them. New users are looking to explore our offerings and need messaging to help guide them. 

Visual elements:

Users need visual communication to in addition to minimal content. Our visual designer created supportive gifs to visualize how the changes will work. Content was direct and focused on the benefits. We found using our existing passive modal component for our messaging needs would bring the consistency to our platform and could be easily styled and implemented for our engineering teams. 


Live screens of the messaging modal currently


Measuring Success

high engagement found with new users

We tracked analytics to observe conversions in the context of the messaging campaign interrupting a user’s task when they log back into the console. 


New users were provided with three screens in the messaging modal. We found over 60% of new users went onto the next 2-3 slides. 
Our team provided static images in different languages for accessibility. Viewing the demographical results showed us the importance of planning for messaging in multiple languages. 

Graphics of new user and demographical analytics