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Visualising Complex Data for Corvil

In a field where even a tiny delay can cost millions of dollars, it is critical that performance data can be understood, analysed and problems identified quickly and easily.


Corvil is one of a new breed of companies that seeks to make sense of the emerging machine age. They provide solutions that allow their customers to understand trading networks with nanosecond precision. Frontend.com worked with Corvil to transform their product from a specialised precision tool for sophisticated network engineers into an indispensable management tool that can be used across any organisation that operates in real time.

Making the Complex Simple

Corvil’s product has always been one of the most technically advanced in the market. However, early versions required a greater level of technical understanding than competitor products, making its value difficult to demonstrate. Having undertaken a number of incremental changes, Corvil decided that revisions to their existing products were not delivering adequate improvement to the user experience and that a complete UI redesign was required.

Understanding end users and the domain is central in designing an effective user interface. In this instance the product was complex and end users have high levels of specialist expertise. Collaborating with Corvil’s product team we were able to build specific domain knowledge. This was enhanced with global research with network operators in organisations such as NASDAQ, NYSE and some of the most influential financial institutions worldwide. While access to these levels of research participants is often considered problematic, our experience is that many welcome having their voice heard and appreciate involvement in the process.

A key challenge for our design team was to transform a complex product into a solution that allows users to effortlessly navigate through multidimensional data in almost any direction while retaining a clear context.

Visual Design of Software
Visual Design of Software

A True Partnership

Over five years we have invested effort into understanding the inner workings of the product, the way it provides value in a range of circumstances, and the diversity of end users. This allows us to contribute in a way that is normally reserved for internal UX teams. We work alongside internal product management and UX design teams to refine and extend the product. More recently we have planned and executed a complete UI overhaul that moves the product from a series of connected but discrete products into a cohesive and fully customisable product platform.

While discovery and forensic analysis is still a core element of the product we have also designed a UI that uses network data to provide valuable management information. This includes predefined dashboards and views that address specific business issues including actionable information in real time.

Outcomes and Benefits

The revised platform-based approach has already started to provide customer value. The modular, flexible, and extensible UI allows Corvil to incorporate new use-cases as they arise, quickly and without major engineering effort. Increased flexibility in information visualisation and filtering provides customisable business dashboards for non-technical users. For analysts the correlation of streams from disparate network elements, locations, applications, and appliances allows even more detailed insight into the complex world of network optimisation.

Frontend.com provide experienced UX design professionals who have consistently delivered for us at key milestones in our product’s evolution.

Donal O’Sullivan, VP of Product Management, Corvil

Three smiling Frontend.com team members collaborating at a computer monitor.