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.

This was an entirely new way of presenting Watson, their flagship AI tech. No longer a character that had a bouncy personality, Watson is an AI platform for business that is comprised of a suite of individual machine learning tools that can be combined together to solve tough problems that were otherwise unsolvable by human effort alone.

Senior Designer – Jonathan Haggard
Created At – AKQA

Creative Director – Felix Roos
Copywriter – Crystal Yu
Motion Designer – Ryan Jones
Photographer – Jeff Singer
Creative Developer – Yagiz Mungan
Client Director – John Freshwater

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 within these constraints to ensure cohesiveness and a simplicity of visual language that could scale to each touchpoint.

The Touchpoints

There are 4 touchpoints to this traveling exhibit. The Touch Floor is an interactive toy that responds to footsteps, catching people's attention as they walk by. The Watson Conversation is for key brand awareness and selfie moments. The Touch Wall is a series of 15 case studies that feature Watson and IBM business partners working together. The Tech Table is a deep dive into the product offerings with mini games that offer teachable fun moments.

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.

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 Creative Developer Yagiz Mungan to prototype the interactive floor. Having development experience and a solid understanding of how this could be translated into code 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.

Each subject matter expert has a fully animated case study that uses dots as a way to communicate complex ideas. Ryan Jones and I animated 15 case studies, 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

This is where developers can get their fill of specific information around Watson's newly packaged offerings. The Tech Table was designed as a collaboration between all members of the design team. Felix designed the UI and information architecture. Ryan and I designed and animated icons and assets to live within the experience, and I created prototypes of the mini games that users could play.

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