Cluster Seven - CSM

CSM (Cloud Spreadsheet Manager) is a version control system for Excel Spreadsheets

Cluster Seven - CSM

CSM (Cloud Spreadsheet Manager) is a version control system for Excel Spreadsheets

Cluster Seven - CSM

CSM (Cloud Spreadsheet Manager) is a version control system for Excel Spreadsheets

The Company

Cluster Seven specializes on risk management and versioning of Excel spreadsheet and Access databases to meet compliance needs of companies using these files for critical parts of their business.

CSM is a new SaaS offering that would be better summarized as: “A Github for Excel files.”

Engineering Oriented Design

Creating a new design function within a company with a heavy engineering oriented culture had its own set of challenges. I implemented design practices that took the best of the existing product and pushed it in a better direction, with an improved consistency, a more efficient design proces and more user friendly.  

The Company

Cluster Seven specializes on risk management and versioning of Excel spreadsheet and Access databases to meet compliance needs of companies using these files for critical parts of their business.

CSM is a new SaaS offering that would be better summarized as: “A Github for Excel files”

Engineering Oriented Design

Creating a new design function within a company with a heavy engineering oriented culture had its own set of challenges. I implemented design practices that took the best of the existing product and pushed it in a better direction, with an improved consistency, a more efficient design proces and more user friendly.  

Design System

In order to consolidate and reduce inconsistencies, I designed an UI kit based on the existing implementation of the product. With it, some design best practices could be applied with components such as buttons and forms.

Design System

In order to consolidate and reduce inconsistencies, I designed an UI kit based on the existing implementation of the product. With it, some design best practices could be applied with components such as buttons and forms.

C7_buttons_crop
C7_forms

On top of this basic kit, it was developed a richer Design System, in which more complex components were designed taking advantage of the symbol nesting features of software such as Figma or Sketch. With it, we could enable an easier transition into the implementation, since the designs were built on top of this components architecture, while at the same time it reduced the time spent ensuring consistency across the whole design files.

C7_Components_D3
C7_Dialogs

Prototyping with React

Since CSM was a desktop web app, the amount of interaction points, the variations on the different states and the ramifications on the several user journeys between happy and multiple unhappy paths, made difficult to mantain consistency with plain design files, even despite using the Design System described above. 

To solve this, several prototypes were developed in React. This allowed for a better communitacion with the engineering team, both at the approval and implementation phases. At the same time, it helped in the design process, by exploring alternatives just by modifying a couple of JSON files with the data to be displayed and the settings of the theme.

Prototyping with React

Since CSM was a desktop web app, the amount of interaction points, the variations on the different states and the ramifications on the several user journeys between happy and multiple unhappy paths, made difficult to mantain consistency with plain design files, even despite using the Design System described above. 

To solve this, several prototypes were developed in React. This allowed for a better communitacion with the engineering team, both at the approval and implementation phases. At the same time, it helped in the design process, by exploring alternatives just by modifying a couple of JSON files with the data to be displayed and the settings of the theme.

Several theme colors could be explored easily to meet the needs for whitelabeling the app.

Also, the default row height could be tweaked to explore alternatives with higher or lower information densities.

Selected Works

Cluster Seven (2018)UX and Product Design

Ubuntu (2016)OS Design

Caplin (2015)UX and Product Design

De Pinchos (2014)Product Design