NetBackup Catalog Migration

Veritas, NetBackup- AUG 2020
My Role
UX Design Intern: Information Architecture, Design Concepts, Design Flows, Storyboarding, High-fidelity mockups
Jun 2020 - Aug 2020
Me & 1 Product Designer,
Product Line Manager,
End-to-End Experience Lead, PMs, Architect, Other teams.


Companies can store a large number of backup snapshots and manage them through Veritas™ NetBackup™. In case of a failure, they can quickly use NetBackup™ to find the backup they want to restore. Veritas™ NetBackup™ catalog allows users to create and configure backups.

The catalog contain setup information as well as critical information about client backups. The catalog utility, however, exists only as a Java GUI version. Productivity and efficiency improvements were needed to be made to the existing flow.

The way forward was to introduce the functionality through the web client as it was user-friendly and convenient to use. I was part of the catalog migration project to redesign the functionality for the web and modernize the experience.


Understanding user needs

My first task as an UX design intern was to understand the rigorously documented research work. I studied the existing research, product documentation, recorded interview sessions and, the Veritas Design Language.

User persona of a backup admin

New Backup Admins

User requirements:
Experienced users liked the familiarity of the older Java interface and the convenience CLI.

User requirements:
New backup admins would prefer to have mundane tasks automated, so that they can focus on important parts of the operation


Experienced Backup Admins

Product Goal:
Make Netbackup Web version feel familiar, Incorporate CLI-like features, Let users retain learned shortcuts and schemas while using the new interface.

Product Goal:
Reduce number of steps, Improve feature discovery,
Make interface easy to learn, Keep user informed about the system status

"It would be really wonderful if I could highlight 20 images and right click and click expire and have it automatically delete the images. "
- Backup admin
The challenge

It's all a balancing act

The goal of catalog migration from Java GUI to web UI was to balance between old and new. The old GUI provided familiarity to experienced backup admins. However, the same GUI was difficult to learn and use by new backup admins. I had to create a solution that would help backup admins with different experience levels to adopt the web version of the tool.

Product Evaluation

The problem with Java GUI

After forming an initial understanding, I explored the Java GUI to find opportunities for improvement.

Slide show of product evaluation
Research Insights

Design Objectives


Improve task efficiency without losing complexity

The screen real estate is static. It assumes people focus on all the components at all times.

The redesign could make the screens more contextual, showing only the necessary information to the user.


Circumvent engineering limitations

Backup Admins deal with thousands of Backup images. The current Java GUI doesn't allow bulk actions.

An interface redesign is needed which allowed them to to take bulk action on the filtered images.


Boost features discoverability

Advance filters were accessed through the contextual menu. This has low discoverability.

A redesign could allow a better information architecture that made the interface predictable and easy to use.


Create a standardized flow pattern

The Java + CLI implementation required a higher cognitive load to implement image cleanup.

The web version would have to ensure user is able to automate and save time without having to switch between contexts.

Interaction Design

Designing an adaptable pattern

Due to overlapping and branching paths, expire and delete became the defining design problem for me.

To balance complexity while streamlining the flows, I ended up designing an adaptable interaction pattern which worked for all 7 flows that I designed.

Understanding the functionality

What is expire & delete?

To expire a backup image means to force the retention period to expire, or information about the backup is deleted. When the retention period expires, NetBackup deletes information about the backup.

Through expire and delete, backup admins can take control over their disk storage units and free up space when storage is running low.

User Flow

Visualizing the flow

The expire and delete flow had several configurations which allowed users flexibility in term of preferred task routine. In this flow to allow flexibility, few elements needed to be made modular.

Thus to solve the unique challenge, my designed provided the option to clean up expired images as a part of the extended flow and also as an individual action.

Visualizing the expire and delete flow
The solution

A new interaction pattern for filter and select

Expire & delete (Search feature)

The search & filter section reimagines the original search in Java GUI.  Inspired by CLI, users can chose saved searches as a quickhand to set up search parameters. Now they can now focus on backup search instead of being bothered by setting search & filter parameters every time.

Screen breakdown:
Users can search with default or add advanced parameters to refine their search.
The filter dropdown increased the visibility of the function while also incorporating elements of progressive disclosure.

Expire & delete (select and review feature)

Once the user adds the images to selection, they can review the images before they chose to 'expire' or 'expire & delete' them.

Screen Breakdown:
The new design allows users to be flexible with the way in which they want to deal with their previous backup images.

Image cleanup flow

Image cleanup can be accessed as an individual function and also as a part of expire and delete flow.

Screen breakdown:
The catalog dashboard now provided users easy access to previous searches and a functionality-first entry point.

Catalog functions that depended on using the CLI along with Java GUI can now be accessed directly through the catalog dashboard.

Design Impact

What value did it add for users?

Single contextual environment

Backup admins did not need to rely on the CLI to initiate image cleanup anymore.

Improved management efficiency

Backup admins could now take bulk actions and chose saved searches in an efficient way.

Adaptability and ease of learning

Backup admins can find the new interface easy to use due to its contextual nature.

Design concept

Metaphorically speaking

Selection as be imagined as a containers that temporarily holds your selected images for review. You can search and add as many images you want. After review, you can chose to take a bulk action on them.

User flow diagram for expire and delete flow
Design decisions

Let's breakdown the visual elements

Slide show of design decisions.

Sketching out the user flow

Initial Storyboard

In the initial exploration of the solution, I started off with the assumption that current Backup images and expired images are handled the same way.

Through many stakeholder interviews with product managers and engineers we understood that expired images can't be search, filtered or viewed in a list form.

Final Storyboard

After many iterations we landed with the final storyboard that captured the user flow.

  • Dealing with expired images was now made into a popup which made it a modular part of the flow.
  • We also changed image cleanup to just specify the storage while removing the list view.
Low-fidelity Mockups

Designing the interface layout

The initial mockup

In this version of the cleanup flow, I had put active images and expired images as tabs. The search bar was also on the left side as a customizable panel.

This layout however, did not work because of two reasons.

  • The tabbed layout visually represented similar layouts between active images and expired images, which wasn't the case
  • There was already a panel to the left for main navigation and the previous Java GUI had a top bar for filters. For these two reasons, I decided to try a different layout.

In this version, we were able to salvage the editable filter/search panel. The add/remove pattern for filter items would be later incorporated in the final version.

The final mockup

The final filter list harkened back to the Java GUI filter page (with improvements of course).

  • The filter was a collapsible top bar which allowed more screen space to the list view.
  • The filter also show up with a default search criteria allowing users to add/remove more advance filters if need be.

To make backup admin's tasks more efficient I also designed the catalog home page to include a shortcut to saved searches. Backup admins could jump into managing backup images without wasting time setting filters for each session.

Heuristic Evaluation

But wait, there's more!

After having completed the catalog migration, I took up additional work of conducting heuristic evaluation of 52 user flows across Veritas™ NetBackup™ .

Although it was supposed to be a group effort, due to lack of resources I had to conduct the heuristic evaluation single handed. I evaluated the components and interaction of Veritas™ NetBackup™ using Vertias Design Language (Design system) and the heuristics outlined by Jakob Nielsen.

Heuristic evaluation goals


Help identify what they can do on a page and their next steps


Ensure right information is provided on a page without having to navigate to another page

Remove friction

Ensure users perform as many steps as required to get to the information they need.

Remove distraction

Help remove irrelevant information and reduce analysis paralysis

Interested in learning the whole story? Click on the button to get the full documented breakdown of heuristic evaluation.

View Document

What my manager had to say

Ben Kaiser

Animesh is a talented, highly collaborative designer with a strong work ethic. During his brief tenure as part of Veritas' summer internship program, Animesh was able to quickly get up to speed and adapt to working in a highly technical and fast paced environment. He overcame several unique challenges presented by the transition to remote work caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic, and was actively engaged in small and large team meetings as well as independent design efforts. Given Animesh's solid foundation in both technology and user-centered design he will excel in a wide-range of environments and design positions.

Final thoughts

What I learnt

Design systems

Using design systems and understanding how each component needs to be used. I experimented with a lot of layouts when I designed my flows. The process of using different components truly challenged my rationale behind using them and made me more aware of the context in which they need to be used.

Collaboration and iterations

Collaboration with managers and developers ensures that the product is evaluated from multiple perspective before it's released. Rapid prototyping and regular feedback ensures product quality.

What could have been better

Fitting into the larger narrative.

While working for 3 months as an intern, I wasn't able to explore the product capabilities in full. While design systems and documentation helped me onboard quickly, there were still several other parts of the journey I would have liked to explore to ensure a more orchestrated and user-centered product.

Hearing back from actual users.

Although the project concepts were tested internally, I would have loved to test the prototypes with end users to understand their perspective.

View Blog Post

Continue to my next project ➔