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Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Role: Product Designer

Company: Digital Ocean

Timeframe: 6 months


  • 2x Product Managers

  • 1x Senior Product Designer

  • 1x User Researcher

  • 10x Software Engineers


  • UI/UX Design

Note: I completed this Fellowship through the DoD SkillBridge Program, which allows military members to pursue opportunities with industry in the final 6 months before separation to gain real-world experience.

The Problem

Since the initial release of the PaaS product, users continually requested more robust monitoring and alerting for their applications so that they can know when things go wrong. 

Design Process

1 / Determined problem statements & JTBD - based on previous user feedback

  • When my app isn't working, I want to be notified right away, so that I can prevent as many issues as possible for my customers

  • When my app isn't working, I want to see as much platform or traffic information as possible to help determine the cause

  • Before I have an issue with my app, I want peace of mind that some notifications are setup, so that I don't have to manually do all the work myself

2 / Worked cross-functionally with the team to design the initial prototype in Figma

3 / Worked with user researcher to get user feedback on the prototype from 9 users

The user researcher set up user interviews with users from many countries.

4 / Synthesize feedback into key insights and themes
  • Users liked the "Manage Alert Policies" experience but they expected it to be in settings

  • Users wanted to view alert thresholds in the context of the insights page

  • Users wanted more info on what could be wrong in the context of the insights page

5 / Iterated on the design using the key insights from the user feedback

6 / Cross-functional design critique with the entire team to ensure all edge cases & possibilities are considered

I facilitated a design critique with Figma with the entire team, where they were able to provide comments about usability and other UI/UX elements. I used (some of) those insights to iterate on the final design prior to implementation.​

7 / Development!

Development was completed after my Fellowship ended, but overall, it took them 3 months.​

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This is how success was measured.

The alerting feature was implemented after my Fellowship was completed, but a few months later, I reached out to the Product Manager and he said the feature has received positive feedback from customers. Since the feature was released, they have increased retention, grown the proportion of Professional Plans (which hints at increased use for using the platform for production purposes), and increased average revenue per user (ARPU).

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