I joined IBM’s Tech Support Team to help them update their mobile app. The app originally had technical support articles and videos customers could access and learn from; we were tasked with building on to that an authentication process that would allow for personalized managing of IBM systems.

During this internship, I helped map out the architecture of the app and prototyped screens for user testing. I also worked on the front end code for the final product. 

The app was released to both the App Store and the Play Store in August of 2016. 

IxA and Wireframing

IxA and Wireframing

The biggest part of the app update lived in a feature called "Call Home." If an event requiring technical support occured, the Call Home feature notified both the customer and IBM Support. The function then opened up a service request and transfered preliminary diagnostic data to Support. This head-start was popular, and we saw a great opportunity to incoporate it into the app. 

Early on, we identified the challenge as a visualization one; how do we show information about the customer's IBM systems in a meaningful way? We conducted interviews, asking our customers how they thought about their systems and their problems, and came up with taxonomies of 1) how systems should be displayed and 2) how systems' problems should be categorized.


The Design

We came up with a design that incorporated collapsibles for displaying systems. The collapsibles allowed us to design for all cases; through testing, we figured out that there was no consistent way people grouped their systems, and we did not want to force a taxonomy. Collapsibles were flexible enough to show however many or however little systems while categorizing efficiently. 

System errors had visual markers to show. This aided scannability and gave high level views of the issues a system is facing without the user having to dive down.

All systems were labeled with counts underneath to provide greater context for customers. Problems were grouped in the four categories we thought best matched the customer's mental model. 


I assisted the team in user testing materials and mockups for presentations. The only designer on the team worked remote in New York while the rest of us were in Austin, so I took a lot of the responsibility of working with the stakeholders in Austin. 


Styling Across Devices

Styling Across Devices

The app was released on both Apple and Android markets, so a big part of the design process was coordinating the styling between the two versions. I wrote using an IBM tool that transferred CSS styling to app code, so I went over both app approval processes to make sure best practices were followed. This internship showed me just how important one's mobile device is to an app experience, and how different screen sizes can change designs in noticeable ways. 

Group 12-3

Coding for App

Towards the end of the internship, I put all my efforts into making the app work under the hood. I worked with another intern to connect to the web version of Call Home; she connected the sockets in the back end, I retrieved and displayed the information on the front end. IBM was using this cool tool that converted web code to app code, so the front end was written in CSS. 

The app was eventually released in 2016.

Group 11-2


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IBMProject type

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