Microsoft Azure Blockchain Workbench
Microsoft's first blockchain application - Public Preview - 2018
Workbench was the first Blockchain application launched by Microsoft.
It was also my first project out of design school, and one of the top ten featured products at the 2018 Microsoft Build Conference.
Owned: UX & UI design, UX production
Collaborated on: information architecture, content strategy, visual design
Also worked daily with: PM’s, as well as front and back end dev teams
Whiteboard, Sketchbook, Omnigraffle, Adobe XD, Microsoft OneNote, MS Teams
Team & Duration
I was the lead interaction designer, with amazing mentors who guided me through the six month process. After the MVP launch I continued to work with the Azure Blockchain team to improve the Workbench application.
Microsoft Azure had built the scaffolding needed to deploy a private blockchain.
Once deployed, users needed a web application with a dynamic UI to manage their
private blockchain's smart contracts, members, and transactions.
TWO PRIMARY PERSONAS
THE APP ADMIN
The App Admin is highly technical and an early adaptor of blockchain technology. Their primary goal is to stand up a private blockchain along with a unique instance of Workbench.
They are familiar with the Azure portal so we aligned many of our design choices to those used in Azure.
THE BUSINESS DECISION MAKER
The BDM uses Workbench to manage members, create contracts and take actions.
They’re more familiar with the Microsoft Office Suite, therefore some of our design choices were influenced by these products.
Workbench was designed from the ground up in six incredibly agile months,
and we often joked that it was like building an airplane in the air.
Early blockchain terminology was shaped by engineers, not UX designers, and many industry terms like ‘smart contract’ caused confusion.
The initial thinking was to improve industry terminology through the Workbench product offering. Ultimately, we decided to stay with current trends so as to make learning as easy as possible for the new user.
FINAL DESIGN &
From Drew Voegele, Studio Chief - Microsoft Studio X
Sheri worked for me as a designer for Azure Blockchain Workbench and I'd be happy for her to work with me again.
She wasn't given an easy task, with blockchain technologies being so new it came down to a barely existent talent pool or someone that had the skills but at the core could learn, that is exactly what Sheri had. She was able to cut through the ambiguity of the new technology as well as a new design language, tools, and process.
Along with her strong designer skills she is very effective in working with PM and engineering, in terms of making sure the requirements are buttoned up, communicating to the engineers, taking and synthesizing feedback well, and responding to point in time developer needs.
Did I mention she was also a joy to work with? Well, she is, you'd be lucky to hear her story and the breadth of life experience she has.
Workbench was a featured product at the 2018 Microsoft Build Conference.
These are three of my favorite articles from that launch.
In order to view the live code, you’d need to deploy a private blockchain in Azure.
Once deployed, you’d get a link to your private instance of Workbench.
I video captured the live code to save you the time and money it would require to do this.