Speaker Deck

UX Design and Education for Effective Monitoring Tools (Monitorama PDX 2017)

by Amy Nguyen

Published May 24, 2017 in Technology

Abstract:
I, like many of us, chose to work in infrastructure because I thought it meant I could avoid talking to other people as much as possible. I was wrong. It turns out that a huge amount of work in monitoring is about empowering the rest of your engineering organization to use the tools you develop correctly, quickly, and effectively. A huge amount of our time is spent explaining how to interpret timeseries data and why averaging percentiles is a bad idea. After feedback from our engineers, we embarked on a journey to redesign our internal monitoring tools and understand where people were struggling with the existing system.

In this talk, I will explain how we approached the problem of making concepts like interpolation, aggregation, and alerting more intuitive and how we identified pain points for new users. I will outline common misconceptions our users have about monitoring and how we cleared up this confusion in our UI without forcing everyone to spend hours on documentation. Rather than copying and pasting existing UX design principles onto our monitoring problems, we will see how we can reinterpret these ideas and apply them to our unique situation to create a better experience for everyone.