IBM Cloud Catalog

Reorganizing and redesigning the IBM Cloud catalog to increase discoverability of services

IBM Cloud Catalog

The Problem

The catalog, the main place users of the IBM Cloud find and purchase offerings, hadn’t been updated in many years. Since then we had added many more offerings, and the categorization and filtering had not been designed to scale. This resulted in users not being able to find what they were looking for.

In addition, the internal product teams weren’t familiar with the process of updating their content (and the process itself was time-consuming and difficult), leading to outdated and unhelpful information.

user needs
prioritization exercise

My role

I saw an opportunity to use my knowledge to improve the catalog, and to consolidate the ways a user could discover products on the Platform as a whole. As the lead designer, I worked with the product management team and development team to deliver value to our users in a few short months. I helped determine our priorities, communicated and managed expectations with our many stakeholders, oversaw the implementation of UI changes, and continued to develop our future strategy.

To kick off our efforts and get the entire team aligned, we held several 1-2 hour working sessions with key team members. In these sessions, we mapped our users’ main needs onto a timeline to determine our scope.

IBM cloud catalog project goals documents

Project goals

1. Improve discovery of products in the catalog

2. Provide better guidelines for product teams

competitive analysis

Improve product discovery

To address our first goal, we re-evaluated the categorization of products in the catalog. Through market research, we identified a list of categories that was more industry-standard, and organized our products into the appropriate categories.

Before releasing into production, we performed an A/B test with the new categories to test conversion rates. After monitoring traffic for several weeks, we determined that our hypothesis was correct (and conversions were even better than we had hoped in some cases), and delivered the experimental categories to 100% of traffic.

Better guidelines for product teams

To address our goal of improving the internal product team experience, I worked to create a catalog section in IBM’s Human Interface Guidelines. This gave teams guidance on things like character count for every section, images & media, and how to better address users.

Overall, I was blown away by the positive reactions we got from the teams — they truly wanted to create the best listing for their offering but many had no idea how to update or change their content before, and all appreciated the reminder to give their listing a refresh.

UI explorations
UI explorations

UI Updates

Finally, we also gave the catalog a visual refresh, updating the cards to accommodate another line of text, improving the appearance of the search bar, and making the page completely responsive.

UI explorations
UI explorations


Across the board, the conversion funnels were either unaffected or improved from our shortened list of categories. Additionally, several of the product teams who updated their content to comply with our guidelines have seen improved traffic and conversion.