KNOWING wins a 2021 Red Dot Award — Accelerating the understanding of data via visualization

We’re excited to announce that our project KNOWING from WeBank’s intelligent operation team won the 2021 Red Dot Award, which is one of the awards won by the team in many aspects. It reflects the comprehensive capabilities of the software system and of the team.

About the Red Dot Award

The Red Dot Award is the world’s largest international design award and the most influential design competition in the world. It has been held for about 66 years. With the guiding principle of “looking for good design and creativity”, the organization provides a platform for designers and companies to display and evaluate their design works. Red Dot Award consists of product design award, communication design award, and design concept award. The three major awards form the Red Dot Award family. In recent years, the number of Red Dot awards has increased with the maturity of the world’s industrial production and design capabilities. Despite this, as a widely recognized judge of good designs, the Red Dot Award and the IF Award are the only international institutions in the world. Whoever receives the Grand Prix Red Dot Award would be the design leader in the industry. This year, 23 international experts viewed, discussed, and evaluated 9,178 communications entries across 49 countries around the world.

A Glance at the Design Trend

The German Red Dot Award Agency established the “China Good Design” award (CGD) in 2015 to launch a new international design award for China market. After joining the WTO, China has become a plant of the world, producing basic products for all countries. With the gradual development and maturity of China’s industrial production, the center of modern industrial production has shifted from Germany and the U.S. to China. From the Red Dot Award’s move that set up a branch in China, it is easy to tell its commercial purpose. Also, we could see a trend, that is, in the information age, more good designs that are suitable for the times will appear in China, bringing lots of opportunities and challenges to professionals.

Project Intro

Project Name: KNOWING

Launch Time: 04.2019

Designer: Jess Qianrong Zhu

Programmer: Ruojun zhang

Project Manager: Linlin Mo

Team: Intelligent Operation Team, Webank

Location: Shenzhen, China

Award Category: Interface & User Experience Design, 2021 Red Dot Award

What is KNOWING

KNOWING means “having or reflecting knowledge, information, or intelligence.” Beyond the knowledge and experience of human experts, KNOWING expects to bring more machine intelligence to the monitoring system through IT technologies such as data mining and neural networks, the better is, feeding back to human intelligence.

The Logo of KNOWING

As a monitoring system, KNOWING ensures the normal operation of the bank’s IT system. It provides IT system operation and maintenance personnel with services such as data monitoring, anomalies detection, and root cause analysis. Attributed to effective monitoring, Webank’s IT system has an availability rate that higher than the telecom. It means that issues of the IT system can be quickly detected and extinguished. It barely affects the business, not to say any business losses. As a result, bank users enjoy smooth 7*24 online services.

Designing for KNOWING

As a data-oriented system mainly facing professionals, the past IT monitoring system displayed a large number of tables. Engineers will query the required data from tables, then locate and analyze the causes of IT system anomalies according to personal experience. However, repetitive searching work from the jumbled data and the dependence on personal experience represent lots of labor work, while human operation has problems such as lagging, misinterpretation, omission, and low efficiency. Therefore, KNOWING has to show data relationships in an effective way. It not only helps engineers understand the data quickly and accurately but also improves their work efficiency.

Even though target users are professionals, the design of KNOWING needs to be different from old systems. KNOWING visualizes the correlation of data and adds up interaction, therefore promoting the comprehensive understanding of data.

Dashboard

The timeline at the top of the overview page shows the important detected IT anomalies. Click on one red dot, and the colorful strips show the 5 phases of the anomaly analysis. Other modules are abnormal influence, grading, analysis, indicators. The order of modules is logically distributed, from the gist to details.

Visualization of RCA Process

The last stage of anomaly analysis is root cause analysis (RCA). After visualization, a two-way process can be very vividly expressed and quickly understood. The left side is the processing of the data stream. The right side is the matching of common features, which resembles fingerprint recognition, between the current event and history by AI. According to these common features, the system deduces root causes. The final root cause analysis converges in the middle.

Transaction Tree

KNOWING generates a trading tree in real-time, which shows all the nodes that a single bank transaction passes through. The design of nodes and branches represents different states. Engineers can quickly grasp an overview of transactions from the tree.

To generate a transaction tree

Subsystem Knowledge Graph

There are a large number of subsystems in a bank’s IT system. KNOWING depicts complex relationships with a knowledge map. In the map, subsystems could be viewed in three ways: department, full-scale, and central subsystem. When a subsystem is targeted, all relationships will be surrounded. In this way, massive subsystems could be understood from different perspectives.

Visualization is not a simply display of charts. It compresses massive abstract data and then delivers it in a perceivable way. Since abstract information was developed in the later period of human evolution, the nature of humans determines that our brains are naturally good at processing images and tangible objects. Therefore, the more vivid the information is, the faster the brain processes.

Insights of Design and Technology

technology has been penetrating into various fields. Industries and technologies are merging. How will technology and design interact in the future? After years of design experience in IT and years of in-depth thinking, some thoughts came to my mind.

How does technology change design?

Humans externalize our capabilities into tools, and technology is the name of them. So technology actually is new tools or new forms. The very essence of design is the matching of contents and containers(forms). Therefore, the arrival of new technology means changes in forms. Forms affect contents. It means new matchings of content and form are required. New designs, therefore, are required.

What are the future Challenges in Design?

From a design perspective, communication design used to be one-way and static, because objects in the industrial era were comparatively simple. As we’ve entered the digital era, communication between objects and communication between objects and humans are becoming more interactive and dynamic. Communication design will transform into interaction design. Nowadays, designers have to consider intelligent systems, interactive devices, and feedback based on users’ behavior. Therefore, new design demands involve complex factors. in order to deal with them, designers need to master new tools and integrate broad knowledge.

In order to cope with the new complexity in information time, designers need to master new tools and integrate broad knowledge. Referencing the influence of the industrial revolution on design, when new tools(technology) and knowledge are created, it is better to quickly accept and learn rather than struggle in old ways.

Forms constantly change, but the essence of design never.

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