Case Study: Cascading Driven

Driven, Inc. is the industry leader in Big Data application development and performance management solutions. They provide insights and performance monitoring by showing users exactly how their data processing applications are behaving via their flagship product, Driven. Driven is the first of its kind management tool to build, deploy, and manage Hadoop applications with a visual orchestrator, and they came to us to help them design their application to be the best Hadoop management tool on the market today.

The Challenge

The world of Hadoop is highly complex. Our goal was to create a dashboard for users to manage their apps and routines and to drill down deeper into each item. The biggest challenge was understanding Hadoop and how to best display the complicated data in a way that is intuitive to users and let them navigate between flows, steps, and elements.

Work Sessions

To better understand what we were designing, we met with Driven in person. We worked with their engineers, learning how Hadoop operated, how routines were run, and what areas could be improved. We also collected documentation, user personas, and user stories to better understand the problems and needs we had to address.

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Rapid Wireframes

We worked in wireframes so that we could focus on functionality. There were many changes due to the complex nature of Hadoop and client feedback, but because we worked in wireframes, we could iterate quickly, and the wireframes rapidly evolved.

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Expert Analysis

Driven also asked us to provide an expert analysis of the existing prototype of their application (sans dashboard). We identified areas needing improvement in terms of usability and consistency. Through this exercise, we saw the issues that we could address in visual design.

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Improve What We Have

The big area Driven needed our help in was representing the steps in a routine. These steps needed to show individual elements and statuses as well as how they connected to other steps and elements. We considered many representations, such as fishbone diagrams and flowcharts. When we evaluated their prototype, we saw their current graphs and thought that it functioned well. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we improved what they already had. The result was a combination of flow chart and DAG, which effectively met the requirements and user needs.

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Visual Design and Styleguide

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Before and After

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Summary

From the start of the project, we dove deep into Driven’s world, trying to understand everything from Hadoop to user needs and getting our hands on all the information we could get. This resulted in relevant wireframes and designs and efficient usage of time, not needing to reinvent the wheel but improving upon what Driven already had implemented. Our work with the Driven team has helped to make Driven the best in-class Hadoop management tool on the market today.

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