Efren Martinez designer


As part of an interdisciplinary course hosted by IBM Design, I was selected among 100+ applicants to receive mentorship from IBM's top designers and tackle IBM's real business problems. I teamed up with five of my classmates to redesign IBM's Executive Briefing Center (EBC). Using IBM's innovative design-thinking methodology, we designed an end-to-end experience called The IBM Hub.

Roles: Service design, design research, visual design

Team: Jessica, Shahid, Rachel, Rylan, Sylvia

Timeline: 10 weeks

The Current Experience

We started off by understanding the current experience by meeting with various internal and external stakeholders. We also paid a visit to the existing EBC space and watched recordings of past events. This initial research and observation allowed us to better understand the problem space and the customer we were designing for.

The Space

During our site visit, we immediately noticed the lack of direction and intentionality in the physical space. For such a high-impact event, the Executive Briefing Center did not set up its audience for collaboration or engagement. The furniture felt very structured and one-directional, similar to what you would find in a lecture hall. The EBC was intended to be a discussion-driven space for attendees to ask questions and interact with IBM representatives and products.


Needs & Hill Statements

Based on our research, we identified three key needs that we wanted to address. From these needs statements, we also created hills statements to describe what an ideal experience would look like for our customers.

The IBM Hub

We presented a new and improved experienced called the IBM Hub. Below is a video of our final presentation!

Video by Jessica Lin

Building A Narrative

We structured our final presentation around Client Chris' transformed experience as an attendee. As a team, we put a lot of thought into the language used in order to tell a story about a client's briefing experience. We focused on Client Chris' needs and emotions throughout his time at IBM, and identified key areas where IBM could create a memorable experience for its customers.


This project was such a big challenge for me because I had no prior experience doing a service design project, let alone one that had minimal visuals involved. Working within a business space was also challenging since I had no point of reference to anything related to the business world. There were many many many questions that were asked to our stakeholders and users during research. Even when we had the data and research it still felt as though we had no idea what was going on or what direction to go in.

In the end, my team presented an ideal end-to-end customer journey that was backed by our gathered research and insights. We were able to collaborate and work through what the users main needs were in this journey and challenge the "industry standard" of what a briefing is.