Platform.sh

I helped Platform.sh accelerate the concept development of their hosting platform. Platform.sh is a funded startup now used by over 250 organisations.

Challenge

Platform.sh wanted to disrupt the market by helping developers deliver faster by allowing them to quickly spin-up development environments.

  • Proof viability of product strategy.
  • Provide users with a real-time user interface.
  • Allow for the user interface to scale to many projects/users.

Approach

Develop a concept that aligned the technology with the development processes of the intended audience. Through design iteration, the final concept was developed and launched.

  • Product definition & opportunity analysis.
  • Concept development.
  • Detailed design support.
Wireframe of initial concept

Building out a concept

Platform.sh has a technology solution that enables them to provide a Platform as a Service where the applications (Elastic Search, Node.JS, Apache) are fully managed and new development environments can be created in a matter of seconds.

With user interviews we uncovered the workflow gains and pains that developers have. Mapping this to potential solutions leveraging the technology.

  • Product definition
  • User interviews & shadowing
  • Wireframes and detailed designs

Over the course of 12 iterations we developed a initial concept, that provides real-time feedback to users on all the changes happening to their various development environments.

Providing real-time feedback

Platform.sh was early adopter of asynchronous front-end technologies that allowed it to presents cause and effects of (code) changes to environments in one continuous activity stream.

This created a set of challenges common to real-time user interfaces, as the interface would update immediately - without a page refresh. Triggered by other users, the system or themselves.

This was largely solved by detailed design work introducing clear state transitions showing the context of the change, user creating the change and immediate feedback on any action.

  • Clear transitions between state changes.
  • Clear indications data is (auto) saved.
  • Foreshadowing the result of a a action.
  • Preserving the context of a page.
Process from live to various environments such as security update - new feature  and bug fix
Stream of changes to a environment in Platform , Configuration of environment in Platform