Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a leading on-demand cloud computing platform with the largest and most dynamic ecosystem in the world. Millions of active customers and tens of thousands of partners use the services globally.
Customers across every industry and of every size, including start-ups, enterprises, and public sector organizations are running every imaginable use case on AWS. Based in Seattle, Washington the AWS Region/AZ model has been recognized by Gartner as the recommended approach for running enterprise applications that require high availability and performance.
Lead User Experience Designer
Created and implemented a design process for the pricing team to improve the usability and accessibility of the pricing marketing web pages, and the AWS Calculator.
Number of EC2 instances are growing rapidly, and the existing pages that presented different methods of payments for instances, had multiple issues. They were becoming too heavy to load, and uneasy to navigate and read.
The old template was designed based on a much lower number of EC2 instances, therefore, the experience was a list view of all the available instances based on Regions, and Operating Systems. It worked for the customers at that point, but with the number of instances, today, the same experience would not work.
Based on customer demands, and data analytics that we received, the plan was to create a filter based environment for our users so they can search more specifically, and find what they need quicker and easier. The goal as a team was to create pages with improved latency, and tabular view of instances to align our design strategy with human behavior based on our customers' mental mode.
For many years AWS customers explored pricing of products using the Simple Monthly Calculator, which according to users, it was not so simple to use!
They often complained about the lack of information on products, and did not like the look and feel of it overall.
The plan was to design a new platform that worked with our customers' mental models and their workflows.
We wanted to create a tool that lets users explore AWS services and create estimates for the cost of their solutions before building them.
Customers needed transparency of the price points and calculations behind their estimates. This would enable them to make informed decisions about using AWS products and services.
We studied our customers to learn about their roles. We created focus groups based on their roles to understand their workflow. A solution architect needed a quicker way of adding instances for example, and features like ‘Quick Estimate’ and ‘Labels’ could help this individual to speed up the process.
A developer needed more information about services, so the ‘Info bar’ and ‘Card view’ features helped this individual to learn before building a use case.
AWS Support Calculator for instance, had a unique billing structure, which made the design process of this particular calculator more complex than the rest of the AWS Calculator.
We gave a capability to users to answer only two questions and find out which support plan suits their business needs the most.
We hid the complexity of the AWS Support pricing with a simple user interface.
AWS Pricing Calculator should have been useful both for users who have never used AWS and those who wanted to reorganize or expand their AWS usage. We wanted to create an experience that was intuitive, scalable, and potentially integrable.
I created a feedback mechanism for users to communicate their issues with the new calculator. This helped the design team to create a pattern based on the qualitative and quantitative feedback data, and prioritize feature requests, technical issues, and user experience pain points. We involved the users in the design process early on, and formed a friendly space to resolve the issues as quickly as possible.
Communication is a key to success. Changes needed to happen, but sometimes due to many reasons, we could not address them quickly, but we made sure to communicate that with our users, and didn’t leave them in a gray zone.
AWS Pricing Calculator keeps evolving. There are more services onboarded to the tool.
Reusable components, and logical flows are the two key values.
You don't need an AWS account or in-depth knowledge of AWS to use AWS Pricing Calculator.