Reinventing Featurespace Design

Work for Featurespace
Nov 2021

Existing NDA & financial security requirements restrict available visuals

Featurespace's main product, ARIC, has overtime become bloated, with its development focusing on more features instead of a holistically better user workflow.

It is advised to first read my ARIC Risk hub case study for fuller context on this project.

ARIC has seen countless revisions since its initial development through iteration of the underlying AI that drives it. The existing user experience has only ever been added to with more features and functionality layered over each other.

Over time this has led the current ARIC to become bloated and unfocused on the core experience that analysts use hundreds of times each day. This has resulted in increasing customer complaints and ballooning implementation complexity. These empowered the design team to establish the need to assess ARIC from first principles and envision what a new way of working could look like for the user and the company.

Due to the wealth of existing customer feedback, much of the initial research was already collected within the company. Through initial interviews and synthesis a basic list of key problems & goals was established:

Existing Problems

Many design interaction inconsistencies.

Existing core layout serves too many conflicting experiences.

Hard to neatly add in additional workflows for niche customer persona's.

Looks and feels outdated - doesn't convey the sophistication of the underlying technology.

Existing interface experience doesn't leverage our machine learning enough to help the user.

Business Objectives

Think completely outside of the box to create a best-in-class UI experience which exceeds current market needs​.

This project is not bound by current technology capabilities or architecture approaches.

Look to achieve a framework where 80% is out of box and 20% is configurable​ in order to align with company aim to make ARIC more easily scalable.

Project Focus

The project focused on several key persona's spread out over the customer journey. My role in this 'modernisation' project was to focus in on the 'Team Supervisor' experience within the context of day to day fraud prevention.

My work would have to align with the direction of the project as a whole but I was completely responsible for guiding the output of my particular area.

Research & definition

While the general direction of the project was established from existing company research, new findings needed to be investigated to reach a new level of depth & insight.

Conducting 1 on 1 interviews with members of the Featurespace subject matter expert (SME) team allowed me to explore and validate our existing problem assumptions as well as work with the experts to map the existing user experience for an analyst team supervisor.

These initial SME interview / mapping sessions enabled great context and helped point out the key knowledge gaps that existed. This was where external customer interviews came into play. Working with various product managers and their customers I was able to interview several different users from multiple types of organisation size and stage.

These interviews fed into an existing affinity map that would help piece together highly polished persona's for both the ARIC analyst themselves and their team supervisor.

Initial proto-persona's were built from the first couple interviews allowing validation with later customer interviews. The result are the persona's of Ivan and Sumitra. These were treated as a guiding light and helped define the overall design principles for the project as a whole.

Design Principles


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Defining the Future

While the key problems and goals had been defined via the persona's of Sumitra and Ivan the opportunities within this research had not. 

Design team wide opportunity brainstorm sessions were held where the other designers were briefed on my existing conclusions and aided in generating potential HMW statements for the experience we could build for Sumitra.

4 key opportunity areas emerged when affinity mapping individual HMW statements





These opportunity areas helped create the basis of the experience site map concept. With each, the opportunity statement helped stimulate ideation of UI's and specific workflows to help achieve Sumitra's task goals and experience goals.

These ideas were worked up into low and mid fidelity screen clickthroughs. Due to restrictions these could only be shown and tested by our internal SME team but the feedback still helped shape the overall concept story for Sumitra's experience within ARIC.

Here the final user journey was mapped out and involved 6 key stages. The key screens that enabled this journey were then finalised in mid fidelity in Miro.

Within the project strategy the decision had been made to adopt IBM's Carbon design system both as a possible development structure to build a new ARIC out of but also as a clear way to indicate to people seeing the project that this was a new vision and unconstrained from existing ARIC.

Using Figma and IBM Carbon, a high fidlity interaction flow was created alongside a script detailing Sumitras story while using the new platform.

I then presented this project in person to Featurespace's senior management team alongside the other concept solutions of other persona's.

The CEO was then empowered to decision our vision for further development and work alongside the CTO and COO to determine what approach roadmap could work for the company.

The start of a design system

Although initially pitched as a grounds up concept for a new ARIC it was decided that ARIC should evolve incremenatlly to reach our concept vision

In order to evolve ARIC the decision was made to convert it to the IBM Carbon design system on both a technical / visual level and on an information architecture level. This would enable initial changes from our concept vision to be implemented while also ending up with a conversion that would be far easier to evolve further towards our research conclusions.

I was given the sole design ownership of this conversion. Working with a newly spun up UI engineering team we identified the key areas in our design concept work as well as in current ARIC that would require potential custom expansion to Carbons' components.

The decision was made that Featurespace could not rely on Carbon to offer everything we needed, especially for such a specialist product like ARIC. Therefore a custom fork from Carbon 11 was made, on top of which we could add our own components, edits and design rules. This would allow us to craft the new ARIC experience and establish our own Featurespace design system that could be used for potential new AI products being researched.

The work for this is still currently ongoing, for the moment I have responsibility for crafting this new Featurespace design system and communicating to developers how we should approach key design rules and layouts for specific new components.