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Introducing an elevated user experience in IBM Cognos Analytics 11.1.7

By Lisa Chen posted Thu July 30, 2020 04:48 PM

At IBM, our vision is to create products and experiences that seamlessly work together to help you work smarter, find insights quicker, and feel confident making decisions. But if you're logging in to Cognos Analytics 11.1.7 for the first time, you might noticed that some things have changed. In addition to being packed with great new experiences to connect and prepare your data, create and interact with visualizations, and improved performance, you'll also notice that we've refreshed the look and feel of our user interface. 

Home screen from our 11.1 release: 

Home screen from our 11.1.7 release

We're always listening to our user community and what we've heard you say is that while Cognos has many features and capabilities, they can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. That's why we're excited to unveil our adoption of IBM's official design system, Carbon. 

Carbon: IBM's official Design System

A Design System is a collection of reusable components, that can be assembled together to build any variation of applications. Think of it in terms of building blocks. With the same set of blocks you could build a house, a train, or anything else you can imagine. Carbon is IBM’s open source design system which enables us to not only build consistent experiences across our product portfolio, make things easier and simpler to use but also, accelerate our time to market. 

Here are some key benefits you will noticed from our updated designs:
  • Improved consistency in the user experience (UX) across all IBM Cloud and Data services, platforms and IBM as a whole
  • Modernized user interface (UI) components
  • Better-branded user experience
  • Ability to deliver updates faster in the future
Cognos Analytics will be easier to use now that common UX patterns are being standardized across our platform that are consistent with IBM's numerous products and offerings. You’ll notice a shared header across, the same grid everywhere, and added depth to focus on what matters.  These are all possible because of common code being deployed from the Carbon Design System pattern library. 

Designing for trust in Cognos Analytics

Our number one priority is to always design products and experiences that put our users first. Instead of spending valuable time recreating different design elements, we are able to focus our efforts on users’ needs. As designers, we have a fundamental responsibility of optimizing your productivity. Making our products easy-to-use and intuitive is an essential business requirement to ensure that our users always know what to do and where to go next. 

Fonts, colours, and icons are designed to be more readable, understandable and accessible. The first phase of Carbon in Cognos Analytics will make it easier to get your work done. Easier to find what you need the most. Easier to get help when you get it.
Carbon builds consumability. And consumability builds trust. Once you're familiar with Cognos Analytics, you'll also know how to use other IBM products like Planning Analytics, Financial Crime Insights, Watson Assistant, or Cloud Pak for Data. We want you to feel comfortable working with any IBM product with a single unified experience, instead of feeling like you're always having to relearn new software.  

What's next?

This is only the beginning for an improved UX consistency across the platform. As we continue to adopt common patterns from Carbon, you'll see major updates that will improve accessibility, responsiveness, and performance in Cognos Analytics.  

We're excited to hear what you think about Carbon and the new user experience in Cognos Analytics 11.1.7.  Whether you're just getting started using
IBM Cognos Analytics or are excited to come back to a new look and feel, we'd love to hear what you think. Sign up to become a Design Partner by joining the IBM User Experience Program to share feedback and ideas. You can also preview early concept designs and help shape the future of IBM Cognos Analytics. We value your feedback and can't wait to hear from you. 

Written by Pascal Potvin and Lisa Chen