IBM Cloud

Creating a Dynamic Digital Experience for a Technology Giant's Customers

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Drive storing large amounts of data.

We partnered with IBM's customer marketing team for The Cloud & Data Platform to design and develop a dynamic digital experience for IBM Cloud customers. Their existing IBM Selector Tool, a tool that helps customers choose the right infrastructure, databases, and secondary services to build their applications, was not maintainable and did not reflect the products or strategies of the sales team. Together we created a highly scalable tool that meets the sales team’s immediate goals and can take on new types of assessments for future teams within IBM. 

Built using a React widget, we created a tool that asks relevant questions and serves up dynamic recommendations. Over time, this tool will expand to other Cloud offerings that support the development of Cloud Native applications.

A mock up of the IBM selector tool showing a description of the IBM Compose for Postgre SQL

Building with the future in mind

To make sure we were building a product that could evolve, we had brainstorming sessions around the flow of the experience, product roadmap, underlying architecture, local storage, error messaging, and bailout states.  

We built a robust system of components using React.js, which allows for great flexibility. It was an exercise in component-driven development, emphasizing that building small, sustainable applications is the best solution for long-term viability. This approach also allowed our teams to manage the scope of the project in bite-sized deliverables and schedule project milestones in a modular and scalable manner.

Wireframes of the IBM Cloud Selector tool.

Extending the IBM Carbon Design System

Our design team worked closely with the design teams at IBM to extend the Carbon Design System appropriately for this new tool. Following a world-class, detailed style guide for the world's largest tech company is not for the faint of heart, but we felt right at home.

Flexible component development

The use of Storybook allowed not only for simple accessibility checks and testing variations of components for QA but also provided a means of quickly prototyping components in isolation or together for testing and conducting demos. 

We built functional code as separate, pluggable utilities that can be repurposed in a variety of ways across multiple kinds of applications. This work serves to not only deliver on the immediate project need but also takes flexibility and scalability for future projects into account.

Design components for the IBM Cloud Selector Tool including fonts and a color palette.

Freedom to live anywhere

IBM has the freedom to place this widget on any Drupal page throughout its site. Using Drupal's content embedding tools allows the end product to live anywhere, on any page. At the same time, the design and marketing teams can tweak the underlying recommendation logic to meet their individual needs.

A highly collaborative team

Working closely with the IBM team, we helped to define and build the back-end logic through the use of score mapping. We also designed the front-end user experience in a highly collaborative and iterative process. The team shared ideas in low-fidelity sketches and diagrams, iterating to higher-fidelity wireframes, visual designs, and HTML prototypes. Weekly demos helped the team be able to identify areas where changes and adaptations needed to happen along the way.

Tugboat enabled front-end developers and designers to collaborate easily and quickly as they worked to refine and QA the design vision for the project. We also used Tugboat previews to communicate progress with client stakeholders for review and feedback, speeding the development process and creating a stronger design in collaboration with those stakeholders.

Project credits

The following people contributed to the success of this project.

  • Aubrey Sambor

    Lead Engineer

  • Chris Albrecht

    Senior Technical Project Manager

  • Ezequiel "Zequi" Vázquez

    Senior DevOps Engineer

  • Hawkeye Tenderwolf

    Former Senior Developer at Lullabot

  • Hunter MacDermut

    Senior JavaScript Developer

  • Jen Witkowski

    Associate Design Director

  • Ana Barcelona

    Associate Design Director

  • Jerad Bitner

    Senior Technical Project Manager

  • Mateu Aguiló Bosch

    Lead Engineer

  • Matt Robison

    Content Writer & Strategist

  • Putra Bonaccorsi

    Lead Engineer

Anchor to move to the services section


We provided the following kinds of services to help this project succeed.

  • Digital & Content Strategy

  • Front-end Architecture

  • Front-end Development

  • JavaScript

  • Localization and Translation

  • Performance and Scalability

  • Technical Architecture

  • Technical Project Management

  • UI Design

  • UX & Design

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