Equinix

Connecting Platform Experiences

Refreshing a complex product portfolio with a unified, platform-first approach.

As the global leader in Interconnection and retail colocation, Equinix quite literally powers the Internet. Myplanet partnered with Equinix to evolve their internal digital practices and processes as part of creating a more unified, platform-oriented experience for their customers across a number of products.

Expertise required for this project

  • Design research
  • UX strategy & design operations
  • Interface & user experience design
  • User testing & analysis
  • Custom JavaScript applications
  • Agile software development

The Challenge

With a complex core business offering and a broad range of customer needs and use cases, Equinix wanted to refine their platform experience across a number of projects to create a more unified and intuitive offer for accessing their industry-leading services.

Initially, Myplanet was approached by the Interconnection group at Equinix to focus on a single product—Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX)—to redesign and develop the portal, creating an experience that facilitated easy understanding for both the customers accessing the portal and the designers, developers, and product people who would provide ongoing maintenance and support for the portal.

As the project evolved, the Interconnection team expanded their efforts, bringing Myplanet in to assist with their Internet Exchange (IX) and International Business Exchange Smartview (IBX) products. Revitalizing all three products provided an opportunity to align to a more consistent and holistic platform-focused experience. Myplanet was able to connect the products together with a more cohesive look and feel under the Equinix platform banner, setting them up for integration into the broader Equinix digital customer experience.

Equinix embraced the opportunity to implement a truly platform-forward approach, refreshing a complex and technical product portfolio into a unified, digital-first experience.

Katherine Jones, Director, Platform Strategy, Myplanet

The Strategy

By partnering directly with Equinix—including embedding team members with their internal teams—we were able to refine product and design practices in a way that joined existing Equinix work styles with industry best practices brought in by Myplanet. Throughout the engagements, we built the process infrastructure necessary to support these massive enterprise efforts, working together to make a cohesive brand experience across Equinix’s array of offerings.

A comprehensive style guide for an array of Equinix products.

Equinix has a complex suite of services they offer their customers, but the highly technical nature of those services means it can be difficult for new users to understand and grasp the nuances of their offers. First and foremost, any new solutions needed to make the daunting world of data connection more approachable and understandable for Equinix audiences.

To achieve this, we needed to translate the expertise we honed on Interconnection and retail colocation to users encountering it for the first time. Leveraging our past experience with the telecommunications and networking sectors, we were able to gather a complete picture of Equinix’s offers and hit the ground running with their teams. And in understanding not only the services offered, but also Equinix as an organization, we were able to ensure any process refinements were grounded in what made sense for the Equinix teams well into the future.

The Solution

To deliver a seamless customer experience that unified the platform look and feel, we needed to do three things. First, confusing elements of the highly technical solutions had to be clarified so valuable data could be turned into actionable insights. Second, we needed to implement a more intuitive, frictionless experience, so users could achieve their goals with ease. And third, each offering needed to align to set design standards and patterns, ensuring they all reflected the high-calibre experience Equinix delivers.

01

EQUINIX EXCHANGE FABRIC

ECX

  • Beginning with ECX, we worked to create a system that would highlight the most important elements, making them easier for users to find. We introduced network topology diagrams that offer clear visual pictures of network setups and allowed our development team to deal with data sets containing over 100,000 pieces of data. This elegant solution integrated with their API to bring meaningful insights, not just more information, to users. With a more user-friendly format for understanding their networks and navigating the portal, Myplanet created a more digestible and enjoyable experience for Equinix users.

  • Onboarding the Equinix development team was another crucial part of the ECX project’s success. Ensuring their internal development team was fully trained in how to manage the portal back-end, and that sufficient knowledge share had happened prior to launch for their team to support the functionality of the portal going forward, was an ongoing aim of the project.

02

INTERNET EXCHANGE

IX

  • For IX, the team focused on understanding the ways they could adjust the experience in a few key areas to bring greater clarity and utility to users, helping drive business for years to come. We discovered few users understood that the data available in the portal could be used to streamline their own processes, which would save them money and create better traffic flows with just a few simple tweaks.

  • Instead of the portal being a place for reactivity, Myplanet focused on creating an experience that would allow users to be proactive. We created a more assistive experience that makes suggestions for opportunities users might be missing— from additional peering to port upgrades—that can save users money and assist them in doing their own jobs better.

03

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS
EXCHANGE SMARTVIEW

IBX

  • Finally, for IBX Smartview, the team brought to light opportunities within Equinix’s own operations for increasing efficiencies in their retail colocation management. Myplanet’s thoughtfully redesigned portal created an easy way for Equinix to monitor and compare systems across all 200+ data centres they have around the world with an impressive level of granularity: Equinix can note where something as small as a single fan in one room is creating inefficiency or costing big money across the system.

    Creating the assistive experience Equinix was looking for required two major changes. The first was to shift from two separate portals—one for internal, one for external—to a single, unified portal for a platform-level experience.

  • A singular code base means developers can now focus on maintaining a seamless experience for all users and gives customer experience teams an easier time replicating issues, improving customer service. The second was to create a customizable dashboard. Easy to configure and easy to understand, it enables users (both customers and Equinix internal managers) to spotlight the data that matters most to them in a heads-up display for immediate insight.

  • And across all three properties, the Myplanet team worked with the Equinix team to build and bolster their design standards and practices. With the aim of building lasting solutions, we worked with them to establish everything from icon libraries to repeatable design patterns that could be applied across the engagements we worked on with them, as well as on any future projects.

Outcomes & Next Steps

With the successful launch of three redesigned and reconfigured portal properties for Equinix that offer greater clarity for users in finding, surfacing, and interpreting the data available to them, Myplanet has started Equinix down a path to a cohesive, platform-focused experience.

On top of improved user experiences for customers, the engagements created a UX process that will continue to pay dividends for internal teams down the line. As the practice becomes more ingrained to the teams, opportunities for further improvements will continue. By looking across the totality of the customer journey with a greater emphasis on user research to support changes, the team will be able to create a platform-wide understanding of not only who they are dealing with, but also how to serve them best at every step of the journey.

The Myplanet team approached its work with great expertise. The experience of working with them has been second-to-none.

Bob Haataia, Principal Product Manager and UX Lead, Equinix