IBM Watson Primer Experience

In a large scale consolodation of the Watson product offering, IBM needed a way to catch the attention of potential business partners and solidify their name in the AI marketplace.

I lead design to redesign an existing design system that IBM was using globally to a Watson branded system which would be used in all future products.

At its very core the design system I built is based off of a circle. This reflects Watson's base form, and due to its simplicity, it is scalable to any platform while still keeping the brand at its core.

Senior Designer – Jonathan Haggard
Created At – AKQA

The Space

The space itself is reflective of Watson's radiant rays. This simple pill shape would inform all design decisions for the experience within. I designed an interaction system using these constraints to ensure cohesiveness and a simplicity of visual language that would scale to each touchpoint.

The Touchpoints

There are 4 touchpoints to this traveling exhibit. The design system I created was able to scale from a single dot into a fully animated story.

The launch of the Watson Primer was featured at Dreamforce 2017, with a special visit from CEO of Salesforce Mark Benioff. It even got a writeup in the New York Times.

Touch Floor

The initial idea for the Touch Floor was to have this river of data that surrounded and immersed people as they stepped through it. The river would reform and move around the footsteps as light rippled out from beneath their feet.

At its very core the design system I built is based off of a circle. This reflects Watson's base form. I used the floor as a starting point because of how many technical limitations it presented, and it was going to be the most highly interactive element in the experience.

I prototyped the floor in After Effects using Trapcode Form. This was the first part of the digital design to get full sign-off from the client, and would inform many of the design team's decisions going forward.

I worked very closely with development to prototype the interactive floor. I have a solid understanding of visualization technologies and saw how my initial concept could be translated into code. This skillset helped our collaboration, with solutions being met together and limitations being solved creatively.

Touch Wall

The heart of the experience is the Touch Wall. This served as the main entry point for docents to generate leads. The wall consists of custom portrait photography by Jeff Singer, featuring archetypes for specific subject matter experts that trained Watson in collaboration with IBM.

The design system I created with the floor directly informed this touchpoint. Each story is told using only circles.

Each subject matter expert has a fully animated case study that uses circles as a way to communicate complex ideas. I animated 15 case studies along side a motion designer, with each section needing 8-10 specific and exact looping animations so that users could take their time with reading the dense content without being interrupted by a jarring transition.

Tech Table

The design system I created for this project met its highest fidelity of scale in the Tech Table. I created custom animated iconography, all based off of the circle root to ensure cohesiveness and brand expression.

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