User experience is an important part of any great security product. You’re short on time, short on staff, and need easier ways to keep your endpoints and your organization safe from cyberattacks.
Carbon Black recently amped up its investment in user experience, making an earnest commitment to steadily improve how easy it is to use our products. We’ve brought all UX design internal. We’ve embedded designers into our product development teams. And, we’ve leveraged our most important asset – our users – to make changes that can directly improve their day-to-day work and reporting.
This week, Cb Defense customers will start seeing the initial results of that effort with the launch of a new user experience.
What Drove Us to Change?
There were two drivers telling us it was time to give Cb Defense a much-improved user experience:
Our vision for what could be
We want Cb Defense to clearly show how it’s keeping an organization safe from attacks. Anyone in an organization, from IT to to the CEO, ought to be able to see at a glance how many attacks Cb Defense has stopped, and how many subtle, but dubious behaviors could warrant further investigation. We believe we can make straightforward attacks simple to triage, while keeping the the full power of Cb Defense’s investigation tools at the ready for more complex situations. And we knew we owed it to our customers to begin making this a reality.
Our customers’ feedback about what they need
The most important driver for change comes from our users. They help us understand what it’s like to be a team of one or two, and have to keep on top of security across thousands of endpoints.
Understand, Design, Validate, Improve
Customers and partners who provide UX feedback are our design partners. We’ve been fortunate to work closely with a number of these design partners on the re-design of Cb Defense.
The process started simply with asking customers what their needs and demands were around a new UX. No boundaries. No prompts. Just the genuine requirements for an NGAV solution. After analyzing the responses, we went to work to make those demands a reality. And we went back to customers at every step of the process, starting with hand-drawn sketches, to take in their directional feedback from multiple viewpoints.
Once we had a working version, we began asking our design partners to perform specific tasks within the product, which rapidly helped us toss out items that didn’t resonate and focus harder on the things that had promise but weren’t yet great.
When we knew we were on the right track, we’d circle back for more constructive criticism and come back with a better iteration. Collaborating with our design partners helped us make the right trade-offs — not what we imagined might help, but what really did help.
This will be a continuous process because we know we have more UX improvements to make. This truly is an ongoing feedback loop, and we’re excited to see what comes of our ongoing coll and research aberration.
Benefits of an Improved User Experience
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The keyword for this update is “easy.” We wanted to make all the information come to you, instead of the other way around. Once you’ve targeted an alert, you don’t have to hunt and gather to find the relevant information. It’s all on one page, with an easy-to-understand graph. You’ve got the visual, you’ve got the origin, you’ve got the device, and you’ve got any actions right at hand. Across the board, this was the No.1 benefit we wanted to provide to our users in this update.
During the discovery process with our design partners, they confirmed that being able to readily see and show Cb Defense’s value was important to them. They wanted easier ways to tell the story of what had been happening on their endpoints, whether answering an impromptu question from an exec, or making a board presentation on a quarterly basis.
We worked together on a dashboard that would support both fly-by questions and deeper analysis of the underlying data. Some stakeholders just want to know what’s been blocked. Others want to know what risks still need addressing, And many stakeholders find it difficult to understand the breadth of attacks that Cb Defense can handle. The solution? A dashboard that summarizes preventions and detections of threats of all types, from known malware and PUPs, to attacks identified through event-stream processing. Click any data point on the dashboard to quickly drill down to a filtered list of alerts without laboring over a query. And everything on the dashboard is now exportable via .CSV file simply by clicking a button.
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This is just the start, and we’re onward and upward from here. We’re listening to as many people as we can, but we want to listen to more. Everyone across Carbon Black needs to have a deep understanding of what our customers need to do their job and keep their organization safe. At the risk of sounding pedantic, our goal is to become a truly design-thinking company. The quality of the experience that our customers have is strategic, and that experience is at the center of our thinking going forward.