Modernizing the Mainframe User Experience: Broadcom Wins Red Dot Design Award

August 10, 2023

I’m pleased to announce that the Broadcom Mainframe Precision Design System–a solution created to streamline the mainframe modernization user experience–has won a Red Dot 2023 Design Award in the Interface Design category. This award (which until now, no mainframe software team has ever won) is one of the world’s most sought-after marks of quality for good design.

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So, what makes the Precision system so unique, and why is modernizing the mainframe user experience so important? 

The mainframe has been the backbone of the IT industry for decades–but as the next generation of talent emerges, many organizations are working to close the skills gap between tenured and new mainframers. 

This means we must make the platform more approachable for the next generation of mainframe talent by meeting their expectations around a modern, simple, and consistent user experience. 

The Broadcom Mainframe Precision Design System was built to do just that: streamline the mainframe modernization user experience, and accelerate the design and development process during application modernization. 

Here’s a look at some of the system’s key benefits.

Streamlined, Future-Proof Mainframe Modernization 

Given how critical it is for businesses to move with greater agility and make their employees more efficient, modernization defined as such, is one of the keys to remaining competitive in this evolving IT landscape. That’s where the Precision Design System comes in. It creates a signature experience for mainframe that streamlines a user’s journey to be efficient and intuitive, so product teams can easily deliver the modern interfaces today's users have come to expect. 

For example, a mainframe task that can take an existing user across dozens of screens and multiple steps to complete can be done in a single Precision screen together with richer visualization information to make quicker decisions. The system’s ready-made design components and guidelines (which are used across different mainframe products) also help save product teams, and ultimately our customers, time and effort during development.

And as new requirements arise or technology evolves, Precision can be easily updated to reflect those changes. In other words, Precision is adaptable and scalable, helping to future-proof modernized mainframe products.

An Intuitive, Responsive and Accessible User Experience 

With a pre-designed pattern asset library for common workflows (such as data input, search, filtering, and more), Precision enhances the user experience and makes software more efficient and user friendly. This increases overall productivity while reducing the learning curve for new users. 

It also provides a bridge between tenured expert mainframe users and next-gen users through visual aids that map the previous mainframe tasks to the new experiences. Ultimately, the Precision asset library serves as a single source of truth for designers, developers, and architects.

The Precision system was designed to be compliant with accessibility and code usage guidelines and best practices. Our new thematic color palettes and subtle elements add depth and dimension, while delivering a digital experience that is fully user-focused and accessible to everyone–regardless of ability or situation.

A Look at the Precision Design Process 

When we say we listen to customers to guide our technology development, we mean it. The design process for Precision included user feedback sessions, which we used to help understand traditional mainframe tasks and streamline those experiences to be optimized and more efficient. 

We conducted regular reviews throughout the creative process to ensure the highest level of design and code integrity. And our product design team leveraged usability tests to drive best practices, simplify workflows, and validate all design aspects.

What’s Next? 

Through Precision, we are simplifying the next-gen user experience while accelerating go-to-market to deliver value to our customers faster. But like any technological advancement, the evolution never stops. As with all our solutions, we are consistently looking for ways to further enhance our offerings in a way that helps our customers. 

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