Design Collaboration with IBM Wins International Award

Our collaboration with our long-time partner, IBM, recently received the Gold medal in the Spark international design competition.

There are projects, and then there are collaborations. A project may produce little more than a deliverable. But a true collaboration — which comes from deep partnership — yields far more: significant impact through exceptional products that improve how things are done in the real world. In other words, collaborations generate innovation. And, sometimes, exceptional innovation is recognized for its excellence.

We are proud to announce that design work done in collaboration with our long-time partner, IBM, on the Maximo Application Suite recently received the Gold medal in the Spark international design competition.  

The suite helps enterprises across almost every asset-intensive industry — such as energy and utilities, oil and gas, manufacturing, or transportation — maximize asset values throughout their lifecycle. The Maximo Suite is impressive not just for its capabilities but also for its scale: the suite encompasses dozens of applications used by thousands of customers.

The Collaboration (2019-present)

Since its inception, IBM has been an innovator. So when they invited us to collaborate on their flagship Asset Management solution, we jumped at the chance. The Maximo team dreamed of a multi-use, intelligent mobile application to help everyone from technicians to inspectors all around the world manage and optimize assets, including in some of the harshest of conditions.

The mobile solution would have to be intuitive, easy to use, robust, scalable, and smart. It would also have to be nimble and responsive, and able to operate on a range of devices in a variety of environments. It would need to act as a comprehensive field service tool, a universal how-to guide, and also a way for colleagues and collaborators to connect in real-time.

This new version of IBM Maximo Mobile would be used by individuals working on everything from boats and planes to production lines who are making repairs or performing preventative maintenance, relying on both AI and AR to help technicians be more effective and efficient.

Our researchers and designers worked closely with the Maximo design team and product managers to conduct research with inspectors and technicians and create a future vision for the application based on research findings. We prototyped the new concepts, validated them with technicians, and then moved into detailed design and development specifications.

Illustrated Storyboards

Research prompts for moderated sessions with technicians

In order to create a touch interface that really works for technicians and inspectors, we needed to account for field conditions like gloved hands, extreme background noise and offline access. We extended IBM’s Carbon Design System to be touch friendly and mobile optimized for these unique conditions. The internal engineers rapidly developed the new components and started building an initial Minimum Viable Product ( MVP).

Mobile extension of the IBM Carbon Design System

Maximo Mobile was released as part of the Maximo Application Suite in February 2021. This new version includes a powerful AR feature connecting field technicians with real-time help from experts for diagnosing and troubleshooting issues.


Collaborating with exceptional partners like IBM is a point of pride for Guidea and all of our researchers and designers. We’re especially grateful to Erin Buonomo, the Executive Director of Design, Joe Berti, the VP of Product, Stan Smith who leads Product, Tristan O’Gorman and Jordan Smith on the Product Management team.

To learn more about Maximo Mobile and why they were selected for Spark Awards by visiting the Spark Award website, which also contains video walkthroughs and overviews put together by Guidea & IBM—a truly innovative team.

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