IBM Watson Knowledge Catalog Wins a German Design Award 2022

Arin Bhowmick
3 min readNov 18, 2021

A cornerstone of IBM Design is our commitment to the creation of excellent user experiences. I’m thrilled to announce the design team at IBM Watson Knowledge Catalog has been recognized for this achievement and selected as a Winner in the German Design Awards 2022 in the Excellent Communication Design — Interactive User Experience category.

The German Design Award recognizes outstanding design in products from all over the world. The competition is judged by the German Design Council, a group of industry experts from renowned companies like Bosch, Daimler, Audi, and Porsche. The Council selects submissions based on their efforts to provide answers to the challenges of our time through outstanding design. With over 4,500 other applicants in this year’s competition it’s a huge honor for our design team at IBM Watson Knowledge Catalog (WKC) to be recognized.

IBM Watson® Knowledge Catalog emphasizes transparency, efficiency, and trust

Extensive user research led the design team at IBM Watson Knowledge Catalog, available as part of IBM Cloud Pak for Data, to learn key pain points in a typical data consumer’s workflow. Data experts want to be spending their time on their most important work such as building dashboards, reports, and AI models. However, the increasingly complicated world of data has forced them to commit over 2/3 of their time to more administrative tasks. Experts are spending weeks trying to filter through data as they work to find its original source and search for reliable, high-quality options.

Watson Knowledge Catalog was designed as a direct result of this research. WKC’s user-friendly interface simplifies the data cataloging process while emphasizing transparency, efficiency, and trust. To help data workers bridge the gap between the technical assets and the business domain, the team built and leveraged a common set of terminology and descriptions to make it easier to understand and collaborate using data. Advanced filtering and searching also allows stewards to find their data more easily, improving their overall productivity.

A graphical, interactive view of lineage, supports exploration and understanding of the data life-cycle, and appropriate trust calibration

User interviews led the design team to understand the importance of trustworthiness. Knowing where data comes from, how it’s been transformed, and its quality is essential to a data consumer’s success. As a result, WKC was designed to address these questions. By calculating these components and including them in one lineage view, all essential information is in one place making a data consumer’s life that much easier.

The process of finding data could take some consumers days or even weeks to complete. By utilizing insights from our users and designing based on their needs, the design team was able to create a solution which automates the process of finding and governing data. This reduces the time spent completing the same tasks to hours or even minutes. I’m so proud of all the hard work the design team has put into this product and am thrilled they have been recognized for the exceptional user experience they’ve created.

Winning Design and User Research Team

Design managers: John Bailey, Ashwin Umathay, Philipp Brucker
Design leads: Marion Bruells, Sammy Schuckert
Design team: Kathy Alvero, Robin Auer, Andreas Reich, Michael Friess, Ellice Heintze, Jess Vergara, Oliver Kauselmann, Dimitrios Giannos, Ashley Bock, Nicole Jones, Conrad Schmidt, Susie Park, Jonathan Bruckbauer, Andrew Smith, Ruben Fernandez

Arin Bhowmick (@arinbhowmick) is Vice President and Chief Design Officer, IBM Products, based in San Francisco, California. The above article is personal and does not necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions



Arin Bhowmick

Chief Design Officer, @SAP | ex CDO @IBM |Cloud, AI and Apps I UX Leadership| UX Strategy| Usability & User Research| Product Design