Citrix Analytics

Citrix Analytics is a data analysis tool that helps IT administrators to better address security threats.

Citrix Analytics collects data across network traffic, users, files and endpoints in Citrix environments. These actionable insights enable Citrix administrators to proactively handle user security threats, improve application performance and optimize IT operations.

A new Citrix service - Exciting!

Citrix Analytics is a brand new service resides in the Citrix Cloud platform. As a team, we built this service from scratch. What makes the product exciting is not only because it applies machine learning and AI but also it truly solves a complex problem that our product users (IT admins) have had for a really long time.

Given each Citrix product has its own dashboard, IT admins have to jump from one service to another ( -User Problem) in order to triage tech problems and fix them. While the company Citrix is moving toward to provide “Cloud-based” services, it became obvious that having a unified and centralized Analysis tool ( -Business Vision) is a way to go!

Design process

Preliminary Research

Put Yourself in Users' Shoes

(Our users = IT Administrators)

Research

At the beginning of the design process, as a team of 3 (product designers), we collaborated with our internal research team to understand Security Engineer’s day in the life (in the beginning, our focus is around Security). After a series of generative user sessions, we eventually learned about users’ needs and captured the main challenges.

Users’ Needs

  • To be able to monitor and solve risky event efficiently
  • To have visibility of an abnormal event in order to solve it effectively
  • To be notified of any abnormal user (end-user) behaviors and malicious events happen
Concept Development

Define the Product

Brainstorming

Given the use cases and research findings, we started off by doing competitor analysis followed by a brainstorming session. We collaborated with PMs and Engineering team. In the brainstorming session, we did a card-sorting exercise together and generate ideas of solutions to users' problem. In the end, the meeting outcome is to decide and agree upon the product features as a team.
With the value proposition and product features set in place, we moved on to the design.

Value proposition

The goal is to offer security risk alerts and system-generated actions through Machine Learning. The service will analyze data across the entire Citrix product portfolio.

Features

User Score

Through machine learning, system proactively monitor, detect, and flag behavior that fall outside the norm.

Rules & Actions

System automates the process of applying actions such as disable an end-user, add users to a watchlist, and so on.

Notifications / Alerts

Push notifications and alert Admins the potential threats, so that he/she can take immediate action.

Story Mapping

One thing that I learned during the product development is that it’s easy to get lost in endless features and overlook some of the important parts of the design process i.e. missing out FTU (first time use) experience which is extremely important to a product. Therefore, I did this story mapping exercise that the whole team can benefit from.

This story mapping exercise captures the end-to-end features of the entire service as well as highlight the users’ goals on each area. This artifact was useful and beneficial to all the stockholders. Take design team as an example, based on the story map we could see the entire user journey holistically and identify the areas for improvement from usability perspective.

Design & iterations

Context is The King


Our gaol is to help IT admins to understand why a specific end-user ranked as high risk. Only by offering a comprehensive visibility into end-users' behaviors and its context can help IT admins fine-tune the system policies and mitigate the threats to their corporate network.

Challenge - How to accommodate all the necessary information without cluttering the page?

One of the challenges to the design is how to accommodate as much information without cluttering the page. When I was designing the User Risk Score page, I started off by exploring page layouts based on all the contents we have to show on this page.

Finally, we moved forward with 3 section layout for these reasons:
1. The vertical timeline is easier to navigate (with scrolling)
2. The vertical timeline provides better scanning 
3. Left and right panel utilize horizontal space much better
4. Less hidden information under the fold


Vertical TImeline Design Iterations

UI Components Design

- Dashboard Summary UI -

- Watchlist Empty State-

Designs

Success metrics

After the first version of Citrix Analytics service is released, there are many positive feedbacks heard from customers. They are happy about being offered this new service with incredible features on Citrix Cloud in general.

How do we measure success? We measured how many customers have requested trials and actually continue using the service after trial ended. After the sixth month of product releasing on Citrix Cloud, the service adoption rate increased by 23% which is a great result. As the data on-boarding process improves, the service adoption rate is expected to increase along the way.

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