Crafting the
CSS Free Trial Experience

IBM Security


The Container Security Services (CSS) team in IBM Security provides world-class security solutions for multicloud container environments — assessment, solution design, implementation and managed security services for all phases of the container lifecycle — and have helped enterprise customers overcome major container-related security concerns.

In order to promote their one-of-a-kind enterprise security solutions, the Container Security Services (CSS) team wanted to offer a comprehensive trial experience that would automatically connect to customer's container environments, identify risks and vulnerabilities, and then showcase how IBM CSS solutions can solve their concerns through a seamless, robust digital experience.

I lead design and research efforts and spearheaded design discussions with design, development, and product stakeholders.


I was handed the responsibility of leading design after this project was already few sprints in, so we were already at a point where stakeholders had agreed on their personas, scoping, deadlines, and had already created some early design iterations albeit without any primary research conducted. So, my first goal was the deliver on the designs given the deadline and contractual constraints.

Simultaneously, as an ardent advocate for user research, I worked with my product and delivery team to discuss the importance of research and of having it be involved right at the outset. After a few fruitful discussions to bring everyone on board, we came to the agreement that user research would be conducted right after the initial delivery of the MVP.

I would conduct and lead primary and secondary research, such that we could leverage user insights and feedback to better inform our product and design decisions for post-MVP releases.


After conversations with technical architects and product managers, we determined the experience we would want to deliver for the MVP, and I was then able to create the below designs in Sketch and InVision.

The CSS Free Trial experience — registration, status, and dashboard — was created to be comprehensive and burdenless. Just a clean flow that would emable the user to identify potential risks and concerns in their container environments, to find potential solutions, and to understand how IBM might be able to help them.

Note that these are earlier iterations of the dashboard with dummy data and no user-identifiable information. These are not the final release designs, but they do give an idea of the design thought and effort that's been poured into it.

UX Research

After the release of our MVP, I conducted user research sessions in which I interviewed seven participants from India, Sri Lanka, Germany, the UK, and the USA in order to help test and validate our design and product. I lead this research effort and conducted everything from creating research plans to recruitment to interviews to insight mapping to synthesizing research findings to finally delivering research playback sessions to the larger IBM team.

The research plan and participant screener was created on Boxnote. Participant recruitment on done on Research mapping and synthesis was done on Mural.

Outcomes (& Appreciation!)

The research efforts were very fruitful, and our findings have been leveraged for future iterations of the CSS Free Trial product. Furthermore, the research insights uncovered have been utilized by other IBM Security teams that were working on their own trial experiences.

MVP Testing Insights • Research Synthesis Documentation • Stakeholder Playback • Information Architecture Flow • Hi-fi Prototype • Dev Handoff Document
User Researcher • UX Designer • Research Evangelist