There is a background image here of the Salesforce dashboard builder shown on a computer monitor.

I started at Salesforce as the lead on their analytics platform. The first project I worked on was a full redesign of their dashboard builder. The new UX included a drag and drop interface and a WYSIWYG editor. This was big upgrade from what they had before. I hadn't seen an interface like the old one for almost ten years.

The existing UI was a very long and convoluted wizard-like flow where the user had to hold all of their edits and layout in memory until they got to the end of the process. Charts had to have pre-existing reports connected to them in order to show data, so a user had to have the correct reports already in mind as well. Not ideal by any standard of HCI.

Salesforce dashboard builder
Salesforce Dashboard Builder

The existing Report Builder UI was used as a reference. That was already a bit more app-like with a menu across the top, a left column for source material, and a page to the right for the data. The report was also WYSIWYG so these were all used as starting points.

From there I built a fully interactive prototype that used JSON files as report sources. User testing was a big success. The fidelity of the prototype allowed us to examine the interactions in great detail and allowed the user to feel more immersed in the product rather than in a usability test.

Animated image of the Salesforce report builder prototype with a field being dragged from the left hand column to the report where it is inserted as a column
Historic Trending Prototype

High fidelity prototyping came in useful on other analytics features, particularly on reporting. That's not to say I don't use wireframes or even paper prototypes as necessary. In early ideation phases a high fidelity prototype is often the last thing you want.

Close up of code on a computer screen
Codeline Access

I was the first designer given codeline access. On the Aura team, since we were building the components out of which all Salesforce features would be built, I would polish off components for visual and a11y fit and fitness.

Close up of nondescript trophy.
Key Talent Award

My work at Salesforce resulted in 6 patents, one of which I am the sole inventor. I also received the internal Technology All-Star award for the work I performed across teams as well as being recognized as Key Talent which opened up opportunities for me to build my skills beyond UX and into leadership.

Headshot of Mrina Natarajan

He has innate leadership skills to lead a discussion wherein he's able to listen, encourage varying points of view and also offer solid subject matter expertise.

At that time Salesforce had distinct positions for visual designers, interaction designers, and researchers. There were too few visual designers so they were often overloaded. They let me manage the visual design for my products and I would work from their standards.

As an IC I didn't have anyone reporting to me on the HR side of the org chart but I had two designers that I lead on the Analytics team. Beyond that, I worked across all of UX, dozens of designers, to teach Universal Design as well as HTML, CSS, & JavaScript to help with their prototyping.

I quickly became a sought after resource at Salesforce with teams requesting me. By the time I left I was working in more of a unifying position on teams whose work would be used by all the Salesforce teams to build their products and features. I would often attend meetings at high levels to make sure standards were used and ensure the user was always coming first.