IBM Wealth Management Chatbot


Brendan Fitzpatrick, Janhavi Das, Courtney Bittner, Arn Hyndman, Nancy Ching, Adam Lavigne and Hilton Lim
Role: Lead Visual, UX/UI Design


How do we help new users get started on IBM Cloud with an industry-specific solution that shows off the power of our offering?


IBM Cloud Starter Kits help users generate cloud-native applications combining a runtime, secure frameworks, use cases, deployment files, and other cloud services such as AI, mobile and financial services — all based on industry best practices.


Utilize dynamic generation of code for best-practice architectural patterns and use cases.

Work with a simplified configuration of dependencies, credentials and certificate.

Seamlessly integrate additional IBM Cloud Services to applications.

Rapidly deploy to a Kubernetes cluster or Cloud Foundry via a DevOps pipeline.


Due to the complexity of a new account type, we had to continue research while we designed and with our new learnings, we iterated. We often used used Full Story (recorded sessions to see user pain points and errors in real time, and A/B testing. We also had regular checkpoints with our stakeholders and subject matter experts to make sure our solutions were feasible and to improve them at each iteration.


To successfully implement a freemium acquisition model, we knew that we needed to to place limitations on certain aspects of our plan. If users are able to get all of the value that they need from your free plan, there is obviously no incentive for them to upgrade to a paid account. But how could we achieve this without frustrating our users? We needed to give free users a taste for the value of the platform through the limited features, but create enough friction that anyone looking to become more than just a casual user will likely upgrade to remove the limitations. Using research and user feedback, we tested three main concepts with our users:

  • Access to usage capped plans for select services such as Watson and the Internet of Things (IoT).

  • Usage quotas: efficiency features, such as auto sleep and garbage collection to manage resources.

  • Usage tracking and cap alerts that notify users when they’re approaching data thresholds.

We also knew that our users need more incentive to upgrade because of the complexity and high price associated with the Cloud platform. We had to find subtle ways to remind users that they are on a Lite plan and that they have the option to upgrade to a paid account with fewer restrictions. We achieved this by sketching, designing and iterating ideas around:

  • In-app notifications highlighting specific points of limitation for free-users.

  • Upgrade calls-to-action in the UI and an email messages.

  • Periodic email notifications that remind users what they could be getting with a paid plan.


  • We created, designed and implemented a new IBM Cloud plan known as IBM Cloud Lite. Users can have quick and easy access to AI services and runtimes to build their cloud apps fast, free, and with an account that doesn’t expire.

  • With IBM Cloud Lite, users can take as much time as they need to familiarize themselves with the IBM Cloud, and there’s no need to submit a credit card in advance.

Even after launching IBM Cloud Lite, we continue to track and monitor the current experience in the platform and iterate. We work continuously improving discoverability and broadening appeal to new users.


  • Designing an experience from the ground up, while working with restraints, is not easy.

  • Embrace the complex. Our scope kept expanding as more and more technical requirements and user needs emerged. Compounding this, plus the vision of the platform for a whole suite of products added another dimension to consider.