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The cloud is expanding. Cisco’s 2018 Global Cloud Index reports that annual global data center IP traffic will reach 20.6 Zettabytes (ZB) (1.7 ZB per month) by the end of 2021. (A Zettabyte is 10^21 bytes).

The applications generating this huge amount of data include hundreds and even thousands of individual, distributed components. To monitor systems in this complex environment, developers need smart, efficient and effective analytics. SignalFx offers an interactive, system-wide view of web applications and infrastructure data.

DesignMap worked with the company from its earliest development stage, getting a first-hand experience of how SignalFx allows customers to find meaningful patterns among the signals generated by dynamic, distributed applications.


The company’s complex, leading-edge technology and radically different approach to monitoring required a lot of effort for users to understand. DesignMap’s first task was to interpret the goals and intentions for the product.


DesignMap worked closely with engineers to define product workflow, to visualize concepts, and design an interface. At times, this work included white board sessions during which designers would sketch and engineers would write code showing how development would evolve to support UX directions.

The larger firms we talked to had very defined processes that we weren't sure would work for us. We wanted more creativity and deeper insight than that, and DesignMap's seasoned designers had the experience and inventiveness we needed to help establish a foundation for the product.
Karthik Rau SignalFx co-founder


Creating a charting system for the huge amount of complex, aggregated data collected by SignalFx was a key element of the product design. As we ran though typical use scenarios, new UX elements for the charting system would emerge.


After three months of work, SignalFx had a solid product foundation and design direction. They were ready to hire an in-house design team to start development. When development was complete we provided a complete heuristic review to identify areas that needed attention. Our analysis reviewed consistency, components, visual hierarchy, style and function.

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