Equinix Data Management System: Design

Equinix Data Management System

UX Design

5 months (2018)
Stakeholder & Customer interviews, Workflow, Sketching Workshop, Wireframes, User Testing

About the Project

Equinix, the leader of co-located data centers, wanted to improve the UX of their data management system.

The Objective

Equinix is serving multiple user groups who all needed to have access to a data management system but for different purposes. So far Equinix used different interfaces for each user group – which caused communication issues.

The goal for this project was to merge multiple data management systems while still keeping feature sets and access unique for each user group.


To define the scope of the project we needed to do an analysis of the existing tool sets as well as the needs and current pain points:

1. Content Map & Feature Flow
We mapped out existing features and content elements of the current tools to identify the scope of work.
2. Stakeholder & Customer Interview
To align on the project goals and expectations we talked to internal stakeholders as well as existing customers to identify pain points and unfulfilled needs.

The outcome was a gap analysis map that we shared in a workshop to create alignment within the project team and define the priorities for the project


We decided to go with an agile approach for the project management: features were grouped and organized into 2-week sprints. 

Each sprint included 3 key tasks:

Sketching and Inspiration
We held collaborative sketching session with the client to get inputs from the experts.
Interactive wireframes
We visualized our design approach in interactive wireframes (using Sketch and Invision)
User Feedback
We tested the wireframes at the end of each sprint with customers to collect feedback and improve the design.

Challenges & Restrictions

The project was a redesign of a complex system with a huge list of features. We discovered more relevant features throughout the design  process which lead to re-prioritization of the items in scope.

We also experienced a gap between design and development that got bigger and bigger with time as teh developers hit technical challenges while the design was trying to keep the initial timeline.

Outcomes & Learnings

We successfully completed wireframes (which was turned into final design) for the core area of the data system tool; the implementation is still ongoing. 

Internal Learning (Project Team)
User centric thinking: the team shifted more and more from a "top down" and "sales" mindset to a listening and open mindset, so they could understand pain points better.
Personal Learning
Agile only takes UX so far. Even though we organized the project well into multiple sprints, it resulted into a growing gap between design and development as the implementation work required more time (and therefore larger sprints). This resulted in communication issues over time. Better coordination and a time planning is relevant for complex projects.