IBM Sets Company Record with 3 Product Design Wins at the 2021 Red Dot Awards

Arin Bhowmick
IBM Design
Published in
7 min readAug 23, 2021


IBM Cloud Satellite, IBM Watson Knowledge Catalog, and IBM OpenPages with Watson win one of industry’s most prestigious design awards

I am thrilled to announce that for the first time in IBM Design history, 3 of our design teams have won the prestigious Red Dot Award. Hearty congratulations to the IBM Cloud Satellite, IBM Watson® Knowledge Catalog, and IBM OpenPages with Watson design teams for winning a 2021 Red Dot Award in the Brand and Communication Design: Interface and User Experience Design category. For the past five years IBM Design has taken home at least one award every year. We are very proud to have been honored with three in 2021, and we see it as a testament to our deep commitment to designing excellent user experiences.

The IBM Cloud Satellite design team was awarded the Red Dot: Best of the Best Award, given to design work that wins over the jury with their very high design quality and creative performance. The IBM Watson Knowledge Catalog and IBM OpenPages with Watson teams were honored with a Red Dot Award for exceptional design and creativity.

The Red Dot Award is one of the most competitive design awards in the design industry — in 2021, over 20,000 entries from all over the world competed for the awards. Being selected by their jury — a panel of 23 design experts with international recognition — is a huge accomplishment, and I am very proud of our product design teams for the hard work, the thinking, and the high standards of execution they put into creating these exceptional experiences.

I’d like to share some of what went into making IBM Cloud Satellite, IBM Watson Knowledge Catalog, and IBM OpenPages with Watson award-winning user experiences.

IBM Cloud Satellite

IBM Cloud Satellite lets enterprises use cloud services on-premises, at the edge, or on other public clouds. The design team learned through deep user research that customers had pressing concerns: How can we innovate faster? How can we move to the cloud and stay secure?

IBM Cloud Satellite turned the concept of the cloud upside down. Instead of customers worrying, “How do I move to the cloud?”, IBM Cloud Satellite brings the cloud to them. With IBM Cloud Satellite, they can run the latest cloud services in artificial intelligence, machine learning, or databases — wherever their servers are, while staying secure and compliant.

Quickly get started with IBM Cloud Satellite

During the beta launch, the design team used IBM’s Enterprise Design Thinking (EDT) framework to map out the customer journey and realized that it could take users up to a month, and over 90 steps, to get up and running with IBM Satellite. So, they brainstormed solutions with engineers and product managers and decided to introduce the concept of templates. Instead of manually configuring infrastructure and networking, an infrastructure admin can visit the IBM Satellite location create page, pick the Amazon Web Services (for example) template option, provide their credentials, and have IBM set up all the needed infrastructure on their behalf. This reduced the time it took teams to get started from a month to as little as 15 minutes.

Create a Satellite location in as little as 15 minutes with just a few clicks

IBM Watson® Knowledge Catalog

IBM Watson Knowledge Catalog, available as part of IBM Cloud Pak for Data, powers intelligent, self-service discovery of business assets like data, models, and reports. The cloud-based enterprise data catalog provides data for machine learning and deep learning, so businesses can take advantage of AI to solve their evolving challenges. Through multiple user testing sessions, the design team learned that data professionals spend 80% of their time searching for high quality, reliable data. This leaves them only 20% for their actual work, like data analytics or building and training AI.

You did a good job of taking our input and using it to create something really useful. I see this could be very helpful for the business to be able to understand their data. — Ryan Rumsey, Senior Analyst at General Motors

The IBM Watson Knowledge Catalog experience was designed to address the many pain points encountered during the data cataloging process: knowing where data is coming from, how to gain access to data, and whether it can be trusted. No matter what type of data it is, IBM Watson Knowledge Catalog’s data capabilities make sure that information is properly governed and protected and gives professionals back 80% of their time for more important tasks like data analytics and building AI systems.

IBM Watson Knowledge Catalog is now getting to a point where it shows the next thing in data management and data governance. It’s showing that companies are no longer collecting their data to keep it for a small group. They really try to democratize their data and to bring it out there. - Rick Vermeer, Metadata Manager at ING Wholesale Banking

Data lineage — knowing the original source of data, how it has been transformed, and where it is ultimately used — is critical information for a data consumer who is deciding whether a particular data asset is the right one for their need and whether it can be trusted. Equally essential is data quality. By calculating data quality, and including the score in the lineage view, along with other important information such as data owner and business terms, IBM Watson Knowledge Catalog helps the data consumer better know their data and decide if it’s trustworthy.

A graphical, interactive view of lineage, supports exploration and understanding of the data life-cycle, and appropriate trust calibration

IBM OpenPages with Watson

A rapidly changing landscape and new disruptive business models are creating new risks across industries every day. IBM OpenPages with Watson is an AI-driven governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) platform designed to help organizations manage risk and regulatory compliance challenges.

Customizable homepage that meets each individual user needs.

In a business environment defined by sustained market volatility and ever-increasing regulations, companies need the ability to recognize and manage risk and regulatory compliance challenges. In addition, organizations are witnessing a dramatic increase in number of employees — sometimes in the tens of thousands — for whom risk management is not a core responsibility. Businesses across all industries require solutions that integrate the power of artificial intelligence (AI) with clear user guidance for their organizations to be flexible in adapting to regulatory change yet are simple enough to use and to deploy to large numbers of users without extensive training.

By focusing on user needs, IBM OpenPages with Watson breaks down the barriers of a global workforce by implementing language translation, an on-demand trained Watson Assistant chatbot, and in-line task recommendations to assist employees in preventing business risks. These tools create an interface of task-focused user experiences where employees can easily recognize their work items and complete them without leaving the application

Working on OpenPages is a great and satisfying challenge. No matter what it is you are working on, there is always a problem to be solved, story to uncover, a need to address, and an idea to bring to life.” — Zach Nilsson, UX Research Lead

For all our IBM Design teams, design begins and ends with those we are designing for. They are the reason for every action we take, and we measure success based on the value that we bring to them.

A task-focused interface that has user guidance on the right to help employees complete their task as efficiently as possible.

Winning Teams

Creating great products requires the participation and collaboration of the entire product team. I’d like to recognize and thank our partners in product management, development, architecture, sales, customer support and marketing for their crucial support, collaboration, and expertise throughout the entire process. We would not have been able to design this award-winning work without them.

IBM Cloud Satellite Design Team

Adam Lankford, Gaby Moreno César, Dylan Dotolo, Spencer Reynolds, Kathy Wang, Micah Linnemeier, Leonel Gonzalez-Corona, Tucker Hemphill, Kayla Lewis, Jay Morgan

IBM Watson Knowledge Catalog Design Team

Kathy Alvero, Robin Auer, John Bailey, Ashley Bock, Jonathan Bruckbauer, Philipp Brucker, Marion Bruells, Ruben Fernandez, Michael Friess, Dimitrios Giannos, Ellice Heintze, Oliver Kauselmann, Nicole Jones, Christopher Nunez, Justin Park, Susie Park, Andreas Reich, Conrad Schmidt, Sammy Schuckert, Andrew Smith, Rachna Tiwary, Ashwin Umathay, Rebecca Urry, Jess Vergara

IBM OpenPages with Watson Design Team

Alex Katz, Brad Neal, Edmund Chow, Jaesik Han, Jillian Quiller, Johanna Koval, Kacie Eberhart, Kaitlyn Ouverson, Peter Sharp, Zach Nilsson

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



Arin Bhowmick
IBM Design

Chief Design Officer, @SAP | ex CDO @IBM |Cloud, AI and Apps I UX Leadership| UX Strategy| Usability & User Research| Product Design