Case Study

NetApp System Performance Modeler

  • Interdisciplinary Team
  • Enterprise

We improved the design of how salespeople discover and share NetApp solutions with customers.


NetApp's System Performance Modeler (SPM) tool is an indispensable tool for sales engineers and partners to determine which hardware and software solutions meet customers' performance needs. Our team was tasked with analyzing the current tool to identify its shortcomings, and redesigning it to ensure users could easily get the answers they needed. The tool was critical to the NetApp sales and partner experience, so it was very important for users to trust its accuracy and effectiveness.


Over the course of three months, we applied a tightly integrated research and design process to redesign the tool from the ground up.

We started by interviewing current SPM users to understand their pain points, as well as the overall domain. Our findings revealed that the tool needed to be restructured altogether to accommodate key user workflows for 'sizing' a solution, or determining appropriate hardware and software specifications to meet customer performance needs.

Our next step was to devise a new conceptual model that would better match the users' mental model of the sizing process. After finalizing our model, we translated it into a new UI framework. We iteratively designed and tested the new framework, and ultimately delivered a detailed set of wireframes and visual reference screens to communicate how a user would interact with it.

Overall, our redesign aligned the tool more closely with user behavior by clarifying the relationship between user input and output, facilitating frequent tweaks, and unifying needlessly fragmented functions in a single sizing workflow.


After completing several rounds of user testing and revision, we put our solution in front of users one last time to determine how the new experience compared to that of the current tool. The usability tests revealed that the experience had been much improved. At the end of the project, we delivered high fidelity, annotated mockups to a development team to build the new tool.

Services Used