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Improving the Underwriting Experience

Troubleshooting Database Installations

Aras Corporation






My Role

Sr UI/UX Design


Project Manager, Lead Developer


Aras stands out as a premier provider of product life-cycle management solutions. The Innovator platform, along with its suite of PLM applications, seamlessly links users across various disciplines and functions to crucial product data and processes throughout the entire product life-cycle and extended supply chain. Complementing this robust offering is Aras Diagnostics, an add-on application designed for the Aras Innovator platform. This specialized tool conducts comprehensive analyses on both locally and remotely installed Aras Innovator database package configurations.

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The product team aimed to position this application as an integral part of a suite for Aras Innovator database installation and maintenance. I joined the team as the sole designer, collaborating with a project manager and a developer to enhance both the visual and user experience. An initial version had been developed before my involvement with the team. Additional needs were being requested by the product team:

  1. Allow user to self diagnose database installation issues
  2. Reduce database installation related support tickets
  3. Beta version for an upcoming industry event


The team aimed to deliver an MVP within a tight eight-week time-frame for an imminent trade show. Consisting of a lead developer and project manager, our objective was to utilize the existing design system to guarantee a unified and cohesive user experience across the entire product suite. Daily collaboration was crucial, and the UX/UI team played a pivotal role in providing efficient documentation to facilitate rapid development.


No initial UX groundwork or attention to branding and UI design had been undertaken. As a newcomer entrusted with enhancing the user experience, I found myself in a favorable position to drive improvements. Proposing a heuristic evaluation, I aimed to swiftly enhance the UI and boost usability. Recognizing the need for an efficient design process, I advocated for the creation of work flow diagrams. We agreed on a straightforward numbered task analysis to address this requirement, facilitating future development stories. As a team we decided I would focus on:

  1. Understand users
  2. Correct existing issues and design new features
  3. Validate design
  4. Provide deliverables


Aras Diagnostics was initially designed exclusively for database engineers with extensive domain knowledge to conduct analytics on Aras Innovator databases. To gain a deeper understanding of users' goal achievement processes, I conducted several contextual inquiries. During these sessions, I had the opportunity to observe database administrators simulating a failed Innovator installation and using Aras Diagnostics to effectively triage and troubleshoot the issues.


  1. System Administrators
  2. Optimize database health and performance with diagnostic tools for issue resolution and efficiency.

  3. Database Administrators
  4. Monitor and uphold database infrastructure, employing diagnostics to promptly address any challenges.

  5. IT Support Teams
  6. Swiftly address user-reported issues using diagnostic features, ensuring seamless database operation and user satisfaction.

  7. Developers
  8. Fine-tune database interactions in applications using diagnostics. Optimize queries to boost application performance.

  9. Quality Assurance Teams
  10. Use diagnostics in testing to ensure database reliability, stability, and compliance with performance requirements.

  11. Technical Support Staff
  12. Use diagnostic tools for timely end-user support, enhancing the overall experience.


Utilizing insights obtained from user interviews, I developed multiple journey maps tailored to different user types. Additionally, I personally undertook the installation of Aras Innovator for an upcoming training session and encountered challenges along the way. I incorporated my own experiences into the journey map and shared it with the project manager. Despite being a singular journey, its inclusion was deemed crucial, as the overarching goal was to streamline and simplify the user experience, minimizing support calls and requests related to Aras product installations.


The current design did not align with established heuristic best practices.


Visual design requirements lacked consistency, and the logo deviated from usage guidelines. To address this, the mock-ups were enhanced by incorporating the Aras logo and adhering to branded color palettes.



When it was time for the debut, I facilitated the on-boarding of team members to the new design system. Once the team was fully acquainted, they seamlessly integrated the system as the primary source for design and functionality guidelines. With the successful implementation of the system,...the team started to benefit from the following results:

  1. Demo's well received at trade show
  2. Development time was more efficient with improved UI documentation
  3. The support team started to see a reduction in tickets with beta release


We implemented an intuitive wizard walk-through experience.

In-line Messaging & Help

In the interest of expedited implementation within a tight development time-line, we opted for in-line messaging over push-pull notifications.


Implemented animated status indicators to monitor real-time server activity.

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Drawing from my experience with similar diagnostics tools, I recognized the user's desire for functionalities such as copying, saving, and sharing results, along with the capability to review historical changes.

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I shared Adobe XD files with the team to provide a comprehensive visual reference and guidelines for the project. These files served as a centralized resource, offering a detailed overview of the design elements, layouts, and interactions, ensuring a consistent and cohesive approach throughout the development process. This collaborative use of Adobe XD facilitated effective communication and alignment among team members, fostering a unified vision for the project's design and user experience.

View Distributed Work-flow mp4

View Help mp4

View local Work-flow mp4

Documented layout requirements and design system and token reference

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