phoenix self-serve

Role: Sr. UX/Product Designer
Phoenix self-serve is aimed at optimizing the process that Microsoft field engineers use to submit requests for new services. A service is a support product designed by a field engineer, and published to a catalog. The current submission process is manual, confusing, and time-consuming. We focused on the service submission process based on complexity and volume.

We didn't get to the implementation stage. But I provided valuable research, and artifacts that will inform the team's efforts moving forward.          

I conducted contextual interviews with field engineers, and members of the internal content and ops teams. Then I synthesized my findings into a spreadsheet to identify patterns. 

I created flow charts to better understand the process, and identify pain points. 

We continued to white board the process with other team members to keep us on the same page. Here we're exploring ways to qualify users before they start the process.



  • Identified several personas: L1, L2, L3 field engineers, domain leads, content, and ops.
  • Many requestors were unqualified, meaning they lacked the information, knowledge needed to submit a request
  • Validated that the process was, indeed, very manual, confusing, and time-consuming 
  • Discovered the submission form/forms weren't using best practices
  • Input fields weren't consistent between forms
  • Some form data was out of date, confusing to users, form field labels weren't intuitive
  • It was difficult to get status with regard to where their requests were in the process
  • Small mistakes had to be corrected by the content team rather than the user being able to make changes after submission

Interesting observations:

  • One domain lead created his own tool because he was so unhappy with the current process
  • A field engineer created his own cheat-sheet to help him fill out the form for submission

I left the team with research, and artifacts that will help them achieve the goal we set out:

  • Reduce the manual part of the process as much as possible
  • Better qualify users to reduce downstream mistakes that add time to the process
  • Provide more information on the forms, use form best practices
  • Provide improved status transparency
  • Reduce the time it takes to submit and publish a service request