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MD&I Expertise Locator (IBM Internal)

Role: UX Designer


During an internal organization-wide brainstorming event in late 2015, we identified a prevailing need for "collaboration and discovery of experts" in the organization. Employees want means to identify subject matter experts, so they can self-organize and collaborate in cross-functional teams. 

This asset was an intranet tool to identify the most relevant Market Development & Insights team (MD&I) experts, so they can leverage peer knowledge, competencies and expertise to answer stakeholder business problems quickly with confidence.

My Role

I was part of the 3-member Design team on this project. We were part of the overall 5-member core team. I also collaborated with development and marketing team members. I was responsible for conducting user research, designing user flows and wireframes. I also assisted in QA testing in the later stages of the project.

Design Process

Note: Because this platform is internal-facing, only high-level design process is disclosed here.

Exploratory Research

We analysed the data from the brainstorming event to identify the key themes. To further supplement the analysis, we conducted 5+ generative user interviews. I also helped in developing the protocol and later on, synthesized the research. 
Based on the inputs, we developed following use cases -


  • As a worldwide Market Development Advisor, I want to connect with an local expert in a different country to understand market dynamics for my focus product in a specific industry

  • As a seller, I want to connect with an expert to understand about competitive advantages of an IBM offerings over a competitor

  • As a senior executive for IoT, I want to contact an subject matter expert in a specific Industry for impact areas of IoT solutions in my region

User Flows

I researched online for similar sites and tools. It helped us in creating the user flow diagrams. As we started working on the tool, we identified 2 key user journeys -

  • A user searching for an expert

  • An expert creating their own profile

Here is the one of the draft user flow diagrams for an expert's onboarding flow.

Expert Profile Creation User Flow
Wireframing and Prototyping

I created low-fidelity sketches independently. Later on, the team converged with their ideas and we continued refining our tool structure and user flows.

Low-fid EL Wires.png

I developed the interview protocols and we conducted interviews with a set of static images (mid-fidelity) which made a prototype. We used Invision to build these prototypes.


As the structure was put in place, in alignment with user expectations, we started incorporating visual elements to develop higher fidelity designs.

Onboarding - EL - HiFi.gif

During the design process, we were also incorporating feasibility inputs from the development team. Also, we interacted with our sponsor users regularly to take their inputs on our designs.

Business Impact

  • 68+ Expert profiles were created and was accessed by 300+ users within first 3 months.

  • This tool was "First of its kind" internal project to incorporate capability to ask questions in natural language


  • InVision (Prototyping & Testing)

  • Mural (Collaboration)

  • Sketch (Wireframes & Mockups)

  • Microsoft Office


  • Design Thinking

  • Agile Implementation

  • Requirement Gathering

  • User Research and Synthesis

  • User Personas

  • Generative Interviews

  • Usability Testing

  • Wireframing and Prototyping

  • User Journeys

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