Client: Nokia / STC (Saudi Telecommunication Company)
Timeline: March - June 2020
Roles: UX Designer, Research, Visual Design
STC required a service that monitored their subscriber accounts for any unusual activity that could be considered malicious. They were specifically interested in their subscribers, whom they felt were VIPs: internal employees, business executives, celebrities, and politicians.
The concern was that a person could monitor a VIP's mobile usage with criminal intent, such as kidnapping or ransom.
Cyberdome was an automated defense center that allowed STC to create watchlists for these VIPs. The system would automatically flag anything unusual based on CLI sessions and video logs, among other data points.
Users needed the ability to search for subscribers or upload lists, set them to one of the four VIP categories, and the ability to escalate any event to a major or critical state.
One of the problems I encountered early on was trying to collect research on this feature, but that's a me problem. Sales held the keys when it came to whether I could get in contact with STC to dig up more information. That door was, unfortunately, never unlocked.
I reached out to the Product Manager and got my hands on all documentation regarding the Cyberdome project.
I discovered that:
STC had millions of subscribers with limited knowledge of which of those were VIPs or what being a VIP meant.
There was currently no way of knowing if someone with malicious intent was monitoring their VIPs' mobile usage and intercepting it.
They were concerned this had already happened when internal employees fell victim to ransom.
STC collected a large amount of data. Unfortunately, none of the documentation indicated which data points would be flags of unusual activity in the form of criminal intent.
A threshold of sorts would be needed regarding incidents of unusual activity.
Based on the documentation, I began listing possible steps they might take when using Cyberdome. When I had a handful of possible actions, I booked a brainstorm with some peers making sure not to poison the well with my lists of steps.
I put the information I gathered on slides and presented my findings to the team. During the meeting, I paid close attention to the correlations and patterns I heard that matched some of my lists and assumptions. From there, I was able to narrow my list down to one.
From those steps, I was able to determine that the user would need:
To quickly search STC's extensive database and the ability to upload lists of VIPs.
The dashboard, which would contain the monitored subscribers, would need two sections: a system and a user-flagged section.
The ability to classify subscribers as VIPs and monitor them.
Categorize VIPs into internal employees, business executives, celebrities, and politicians.
Elevate a monitored subscriber's incident level in case of a possible emergency.
My next step was to map out a user workflow to get a better view of the whole picture. When I felt comfortable with the possible workflow, it was time to start building possible mockups.
After a few iterations, I felt that there was a need to meet with development and see if what I was proposing was feasible. Luckily it was on the spectrum of doable. I continued to push toward finalizing the design, which led to a design critique. I received some great feedback which I chose to use in another iteration. At this stage, I felt comfortable and began building prototypes. I met with development once more to get the okay, and it was time to ship this project.
When I look back on this project after two years, it's easy for me to say, "Well, Sean, was this UX Design? You had no contact with the user. The research you based your solution on was minimal." While all this is true, design is about problem-solving. Solving the user problem and sometimes MacGuyeving through the design process.
I look back on this project with fond memories because it brought out that down-and-dirty hustling characteristic I possess. Sometimes you're given lemons, and it's up to scrounge up the sugar(or alternative) to make lemonade.