Network operators rely on decision support systems to effectively and consistently make decisions. After researching alternative DSS systems in various domains, we came up with a preliminary example of how our a network DSS could function. This formed a framework for how we could optimize task flows later on. It involved automating problems solving, and empowing operators to make system wide decisions based on customer experience metrics.
Much ot the time I spent prototyping for the interface was put into data visualization models. Finding a way for operators to efficiently move through large and dynamic data on a decision based level, in the past present and future, was an incredible data visualisation challenge.
Because Nokia deals is a business-to-business customer model, finding the right sources for insights was tricky. It ended up being a combination of in house consultants who are very familiar with what Nokia's customers need, meeting with Bell Labs fellows for consultation, and visiting tier 1 through tier 3 service operators at AT&T in Bedminster New Jersey. Meeting with operators directly at AT&T (one of Nokia’s biggest customers) to user test our prototype was an extremely valuable opportunity, though I had to be careful what I said and how I framed the product so as to not impact any business dealings that were currently in place between Nokia and them.
During my visit to Bell Labs I was graced with the opportunity to visit what was once the quietest room in the world. Experiencing such extreme silence makes your heartbeat, the blood rushing through your veins, your digestive system, and even your eyelids blinking sound noisy. When the door closed and the lights went off it got weird.
Working in uncharted waters within a large B2B company presented many political challenges, requiring communication across many domains and stakeholders. This was a great lesson in communicating what experience design means, and how it fits into the broader scope of a massive corporation.
Optimizing for user experience alone is not enough. Efficiency of the system as a whole needed to be accounted for and balanced with customer experience to create a sustainable and impactful solution.
The amount of data that network operators have access to is not only huge, but it’s constantly changing. This made for a highly challenging context for design from a data visualization and operability perspectives.
"Morgan joined Nokia Software’s Venture Studio as a member of our summer internship program in the Silicon Valley. He applied and demonstrated his design talent in the areas of user research, data visualization and interface design, and also worked double duty as an effective team leader. His job involved end users, customers, subject matter experts and senior leaders, which included Nokia executives and Bell Labs Fellows. Morgan’s creative thinking, work ethic, tireless passion and high performance consistently translated into professional deliverables that optimized for value and criticality, always mindful of stakeholders’ needs. His final project successfully addressed challenging enterprise environments such as operations centers. The outcome of that work has been integrated in commercial solutions."
— Jose De Francisco Lopez, Chief Designer and Deputy Head of Nokia’s R&D Center