Designing a new way to prevent and recover from cyber-attacks

To support Microsoft's mission of data security for the cloud, I designed a comprehensive tool that empowers and inspires IT admins to take preventive security actions. 


Security is one of the top concerns for businesses when they are considering cloud services. The question is often asked, “Is the cloud secure?” There is not a simple yes or no answer. Cloud services have a shared responsibility approach to security. The goals of this new product were to:

  1. Give organizations visibility into the security of their cloud services implementation 
  2. Enable organizations to improve their security by providing actionable recommendations 

Personal Contribution
+ Lead project and client relationship
+ User research: stakeholder interviews, usability testing
+ Synthesis: insights, opportunities & design implications

+ Strategy: 3-day workshop facilitation

+ Design: iterative sketches, low fidelity wireframes, prototype, full-fidelity design
+ Implementation: collaborated with client and engineer to implement

Research & Synthesis: findings and recommendations including personas, guiding principles & design implications.

Design: Concept sketches, wireframes, recruitment screener, usability test guide, usability findings, full-fidelity design, interactive prototype



Project Length

4 weeks

My Role

Project Lead/Product Designer for Fell Swoop,
a boutique UX agency

The Team
+ Project Lead/Designer (myself)
+ Software Engineer

Research & Strategy

Stakeholder and Expert Interviews
Interviewed the Program Manager and IT Administrators to quickly gain insights and a qualitative understanding of current gaps, and opportunity areas.

Innovation Workshop
Facilitated a 3-day innovation strategy workshop

Usability Testing
Created recruitment screener, usability test, and interview guide, facilitated 6 usability test sessions, synthesized findings/design implications with a key stakeholder.

Example User Needs & Wants

  1. I want to do something very complicated quickly and easily to appear awesome.

  2. I want to understand what entities are at risk.

  3. I need help when we’ve been breached.

Concept Sketches


Summary & Industry Benchmarking for quick comprehension


Surfacing the specific risks to inspire users to take action


A modeling tool to help admins decide which actions to take first


Quick View summaries with actionable options (schedule for later or fix now) + progressive disclosure of details



The Outcome

Secure Score's debut has been met with acclaim from the data security community. Here is an example review from the security press:

“Up to now, there hasn’t been a comprehensive scoreboard to empirically gauge data risk levels in the cloud. That all changed with the introduction of Secure Score – a feature from Microsoft that tracks and analyzes your ongoing activity and security settings and presents you with an overall security score. Maintaining the security of your data and systems is crucial to your business. Using Secure Score is an effective way to keep a close eye on your security tools use and procedures.”