Two IBM Cloud Products Win a 2020 Red Dot Design Award

IBM Db2 Warehouse on Cloud and IBM AutoAI win the prestigious design award

Arin Bhowmick
Jul 29, 2020 · 5 min read

Our team at IBM Cloud, Data and AI is excited to announce that two of our products, IBM Db2 Warehouse on Cloud and AutoAI (part of IBM Watson Studio), have won a 2020 Red Dot Award in the Brand and Communications: Interface Design category. We’re so excited to be honored with dual awards from Red Dot for the first time ever. Our teams work incredibly hard to make our products user centered for our clients, and I’m thrilled to see our efforts toward experience design paying off.

The Red Dot Award is recognized internationally as one of the most prestigious awards for excellent design work. This year the jury accepted 6,992 entries, making it one of the most highly competitive years for the competition. With many impressive submissions to choose from, only the outstanding designs were selected as winners.

We have been so lucky to be recognized by the Red Dot Awards for the fourth year in a row now, however with two of our products being awarded in one year for the first time ever — it makes the occasion even more special. I am endlessly thankful for our incredible team, for always putting our users first, creating products that make an impact, and help users get their job done more effectively and efficiently.

IBM Db2 Warehouse on Cloud comprehensive dashboard stands out

IBM Db2 Warehouse on Cloud is a high performant cloud data warehouse solution, that helps businesses manage their data in an easier and faster way. Managing data allocation is typically costly and time consuming, and businesses often have to rely on manual labor to sift through large amounts of information.

The design team behind Db2 Warehouse on Cloud aimed to make this process fast and intuitive so their users could get all the information they need from just one interface.

The design team created a dashboard to help their users get a view all of their important data in one glance. Users get an overview of their data metrics and an analysis of what these metrics mean.

Db2 Warehouse on Cloud features a comprehensive dashboard where users can quickly get an overview of all of their essential data and information. The dashboard allows users to see data trends and connections, and focus in on the specific information they want to learn more about. Db2 Warehouse on Cloud is powered by machine learning, so users can opt to auto-scale their data and auto-allocate their data resources, helping them prepare for high pressure situations such as a high sales season for a retail store. The tool also has the ability to easily save information and replicate settings, so that businesses can better prevent total data failures and keep their operations running.

Replication experiences help users easily save copies of their data and protect their businesses from losing all their information.

Designing for Db2 Warehouse on Cloud
Throughout the design process the team conducted user research by interviewing their target users to better understand their workflow and pain points. They found that their target users — business database administrators — were struggling to look for key information across various locations, and efficiently analyze it. They were also dealing with many outdated processes, such as having to physically call into their data centers and speak to representatives in order to make any specific adjustments to their data. To address all of these processes the design team created a dashboard that displays users’ data all in one place, so that they don’t have to scramble to search for key information and results. They also included automated scaling and allocating processes to help their users stay focused during their workflows.

User Experience Journey for IBM Db2 Warehouse on Cloud users

IBM AutoAI brings an AI experience to a broader user base

IBM AutoAI is an experience that helps business users apply AI tools through the process of data preparation, analysis, and model creation and training. Organizations that are looking to apply AI to their business and data operations are typically dealing with a gap in skills, as well as lack of knowledge in deployment and governance of their application. IBM AutoAI helps users automate AI processes to help with the complex business and data operations of their organization. Jobs like sorting through data and organizing it to prepare for analysis usually take a lot of time and effort for data scientists. IBM Auto AI empowers users to build the models they need to effectively automate these tasks. Integrated as part of IBM Watson Studio, AutoAI is now available within the end to end Data and AI Platform: IBM Cloud Pak for Data.

IBM AutoAI visualizes the entire model creation process through multiple “lenses”, providing transparency to users in a way that they can understand the process to whatever extent of detail that they need.

Designing for IBM AutoAI
The design team worked directly with IBM Research to understand the underlying technology and user expectations for this type of tool. They also interviewed target users and conducted competitive research. The team found that users often didn’t trust an automated solution because of a black box concept around the idea of AI. Throughout their design process, the designers aimed to explain the tool’s AI functions in a clear way in order to build confidence their clients. By leveraging the IBM Enterprise Design Thinking framework, the design process also extended to development, content, and offering management teams, which helped create a product more aligned with all stakeholder goals.

User Experience Journey for Auto AI users

Winning Teams

IBM Db2 Warehouse on Cloud

  • Design Manager: Kristyn Greenwood
  • Design Lead: Jessie Pahng
  • Design team: Rachel Miles, Huy Hua, Jingwei Wang, Natasha Yeh, Minsun Sang, Kelvin Esparza, Cory Marko, Jeff Levitt, Rimas Kalesnykas


  • Design Manager and Design Principal: Alex Swain
  • Design team: Dillon Eversman, Voranouth Supadulya

Arin Bhowmick (@arinbhowmick) is Vice President and Chief Design Officer, IBM Cloud, Data and AI, based in San Francisco, California. The above article is personal and does not necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.

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