Nokia’s Network Services Platform (NSP) is an end-to-end network management service portfolio with a myriad of applications. They range from reporting to configuring, designed for users from network operators to network architects. NSP is the product our R&D team in ION (IP and Optical Networking) business unit has been working on.
I joined the ION UX team in 2015, just as Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia announced their merger. The UX team in Ottawa has been engaged in bringing user centered design forward into improving the modern network management software. We define, design, and deliver in the product development process, alongside many other parts of the R&D team.
My role as the design system framework guy
To design, maintain, and improve the internal core framework UI components is my main responsibility. This role lends itself to much collaboration with other UX designers, product line managers, developers, team managers, marketing associates, and technical writers. I get to interact with people across all the different domain applications, different dev teams, and even business units. I also got the opportunities to create workflows and visuals for some of the applications, and design some internal websites.
My day to day work can range from concentrated design time with Sketch and Illustrator, to all-day meetings and emails. At any given point, there are multiple projects I am involved in, so I try to catch up with the various stakeholders at least once a week.
Works and Challenges
Most of the works I've done are internal, and thus, non-disclosable, as they are the pieces for the actual outward-facing products. However, most challenges and solutions for the kind of work I've done are shared knowledge, common in many other organizations trying to create a unified user experience.
Internal Core Framework
The core components are designed based on UX best practices, development needs, design reviews, and user testing feedback. I make sure to have strong design rationales for each piece, and that the components come together to create a common look and feel. More specifically, the design leverage Material Design language, Atomic Design methodology, and a healthy dose of iterative design process. They are then implemented by the dev team using React, SmartClient, and other dev toolkits.
(Image source: NPS youtube channel)
As part of an initiative to drive consistency across different business units in Nokia, I designed and coded an internal website that evangelizes our process, main tenets, and design resources like our core components. I am also involved in regular developer community meetings to handle core component design requirements and changes. The goal for the design leadership is to shift the UX maturity level in the organization.
UX Writing & Information Design
As another part to drive consistency among our products, I have written style guides on data visualization and GUI copy-writing, with fellow UX designers and technical writers. This is an area I am actively trying to be more practiced in.