Symantec PKI UX Process
An overview of the UX work undertaken before the design of Symantec PKI.

I joined the UX team that took on the PKI design project while they were still a part of VeriSign. I had come over from another VeriSign office where I'd been working on the redesign of their core media messaging platform. This was my first exposure to a fully fleshed out UX effort on a project and I learned a lot. The team consisted of a UX lead, interaction designer (me), visual designer, copywriter, and two front end developers.

For the PKI project, we began by identifying all of the users of the current product offering, both internal as well as customers. We spent around nine months conducting interviews and comparing notes until we had a good understanding of the different roles and what part of the product they touched. Also, we got to understand their pain points and where they felt we could make improvements with the biggest impact. From there, I helped come up with a set of personas and compiled them into a deck that also outlined their needs and workflows.

Once we felt that we had a good understanding of the current users and workflows, we set about redesigning it from the ground up. I led the process redesign effort, coming up with flows that took all of the offline parts of the workflows and imagining how they could all be supported in a single application. I used a variety of diagram types depending on what I was trying to convey. We then validated these with users that we'd identified as stakeholders and made any adjustments. The next step was turning all of these into business requirements that we could start designing against.

User Research Notes

Example of the notes I captured during the user research phase.

Persona Development

The initial work done to boil down our user research into some common personas and their workflows.

Persona Deck

An example from the deck that I created with the final personas. This is what we shared out with stakeholders and what helped guide our business requirements creation.

Product Strategy

Since we were building this from the ground up, we needed to start thinking of it in terms of a product, and what we would need for an MVP rollout.


I started writing out business requirements based on all of the work we'd done in the previous year.