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Enabling Complex Data Setups

Increased time to value with a clear multi-step process for Kubernetes

After leading design for Metrics where I focused on visualising data, I became curious about understanding the complexity of setting up data to help our customers have a more seamless experience from beginning to end. Enter Kubernetes.
In 2018 Sumo Logic sought to expand support for monitoring and troubleshooting Kubernetes across Logs and Metrics. I joined the platform team to create a unified setup that would help Enterprise customers connect their Kubernetes data source within Sumo Logic.



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Together with our UX researcher, I worked to differentiate the needs teams had depending on how they ran their Kubernetes microservices. After debriefs with our target segment, I created an ideal storyboard that helped us understand what setup meant to admins. This evolved into a detailed flow that captured admins emotions through different required tasks . It was challenging to narrow down this process into key steps. Admins had to switch between the Sumo Logic interface and their terminal/an external service to do additional steps.

During the scope of this project, I reevaluated our onboarding setup wizard. It was not designed to help admins confidently navigate complex setups that included both Logs and Metrics at the same time. Moreover, it was not on par with our current design system.


I explored subtracting, combining and rearranging steps to make the Kubernetes set up for Logs and Metrics a less overwhelming task than what admins experienced with our competitors/open source platforms.

We prioritized the self-installed and API approach since the majority of our target segment managed their microservices on their own or used third party apps. As the flow evolved, additional steps that were informative were displayed progressively. Approach 1 that brought Kubernetes data via self installed was narrowed down to 4 steps for both Logs and Metrics while approach 2 via API became 3 steps.

Reusing Patterns

Rather than remake a new set up wizard, I leveraged our existing dialog box and added pagination on the footer to guide the user on each step. In a beginning and ending modal to the set up flow, I used our spot illustrations and brand sumojis to make this a less intimidating experience and keep the user engage on next steps.

A Lesson In Playing with Structure

This project challenged me to differentiate intent and information. By playing with the sequence of the setup I started to see the key moments where an informational screen didn’t need to be an additional step that overwhelmed the user with more instructions.

In comparison to Metrics, Kubernetes set up was more technical. I found that pairing up with a UX researcher when whiteboarding with customers kept me from getting lost in the gobbledygook. And having a great synthesizer like Bret to bounce ideas from allowed me to quickly move through explorations. I’m excited to see where else I can make steps feel like auto-magic while retaining the human touch.