Year: 2017-2018
Role: UX Designer
Project Type: Research Project
Project Description: We collaborated with IBM Research, and managed to develop new interfaces as one part of the Situation Room Infrastructure, which provides better environment for investors to make business decisions during the meeting.
About Situation Room Infrastructure 
"This Situations Room Infrastructure (SRI) is the core of the technical innovations developed for cognitive and immersive rooms. This infrastructure enables multimodal group-computers dialog, learning and understanding of group activities, reasoning, planning and facilitation of collaborative decision-making. The first use case enabled by the SRI is in the area of mergers and acquisitions. The technologies from the project have laid the foundation for all other CISL use cases."
Design Statement
Our team was asked to redesign the old interface in order to provide a better user-experience for investors at the immersive board room. New visualizations should provide more information in order to help investors to make decisions.
Design Challenge
We discovered a fews issues from the old interface
1) It lacks of visual hierarchy, so it is very hard for investors to process data. 
2) It lacks of the transition between data and decision making process. 
3) The size of each circle is the same, which only shows one layer of data.

Original UI from IBM

We interviewed 5-8 investors and start-up founders to receive insights of financial meetings, where they make business decisions.  
Key Questions 
What types of group conversations have you been in that revolve around some kind of decision process?
"The team input is everywhere. For instance, we would discuss business development and licensing deals and strategy, 1 year 2 year plan, discussing 5 or 6 diff projects and how to fund them over the next 1-2 years."
How are stats communicated?
"Stats around DCF and sensitivity analysis are shown via excel. We also use combination of charts, series data, tables, such as capital table and financials, sales funnel (or drain in this case), different stages that get you to a sale.
Market research is presented in two way: summary table”, where is the general market acceptance.  Important info includes what’s the confidence level around those acceptance levels and questions discovered in the survey
How were results communicated? 
"Print outs because people can’t see numbers when you put them on a screen."
Interview Takes Away
1. The new visualization should help people to collaborate as a team. 
2. Users should be able to extract useful and important information from the visualizations.
3. The visualization should be legible and readable, so users can read it from the screen. 
In my sketch, the new visualization represents three more layers of information:
1) The size of circles is relation to the companies' revenues
2) The visualization will transform into a X/Y graph. The x-axis represents founded year. The y-axis represents the number of employees.
3) Users can highlight each nodes to select companies they are interested in. 
4) Users can also see detailed information of different companies. 
Initial Screen: Nodes are same size
Initial Screen: Nodes are same size
Nodes size changes based on revenues
Nodes size changes based on revenues
Tooltip for companies details
Tooltip for companies details
node graph transform to X/Y graph
node graph transform to X/Y graph
X/Y graph, X is founded year, Y is number of employees
X/Y graph, X is founded year, Y is number of employees
Highlight companies
Highlight companies
Add companies to decision table
Add companies to decision table
Let watson make a decision
Let watson make a decision

On Screen Testing

Project Outcomes
1. This project is one of the most important demo to present at CISL every year. 
2. User testing showed the new added function help business investors to better understand the visualization. 
3. Many companies showed strong interests asking CISL to build Situation Room Infrastructure in the office.  
What I learned?
1. How to make a successful project in a collaborated environment. It is crucial to keep aligning with research and development team. Making playback is for good team work. 
2. Continues learning help me to understand research domain and manage to create real data visualization. 
3. User research is the key to identify users need and pain points. This help research results will be useful in the real world scenarios. 

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