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Rapid7 Licensing

A new feature

As a UX designer with the unique position of being dually appointed to SaaS platform design and experience strategy, I was approached about the desire to bring licensing visibility to the Rapid7 Insight Platform as part of a broader initiative to improve customer data mastery. License allowance and usage was something that many users felt was critical information, and the business believed it was time to respond. I took up the role of UX strategist and UI designer in order to present and iterate on a useful licensing feature.

Note: This project is still in progress.

My process 

Research everything

When beginning this project I was new to the areas of cybersecurity and SaaS design, so I started by spending many hours learning as much as I could about relevant concepts. I researched licensing best practices and competitor examples and learned about SaaS e-commerce models. I consulted with other designers within my organization to understand how and why previous decisions were made in the platform and to gain context about the short- and long-term product road-maps.

Cross-functional conversations

The most important aspect of my job is taking into account all user feedback. I worked with a UX researcher to conduct customer interviews in order to understand user needs and pain points. I also conducted many of my own interviews with internal stakeholders (product managers, engineering, support teams, sales, account executives, etc.) to get a better understanding of how licensing was currently being handled, what the long-term plans were for future handling of licenses as more products would turn over to the SaaS model, and what technical limitations could block certain features from being developed.

Ideate and wireframe

With the vast amount of information I gathered, I began sketching and wireframing several different versions of how license information might be made visible to Rapid7 platform users, making sure to consider user flows and information architecture.

Gain feedback

I took my Sketch wireframes to business stakeholders in order to obtain insights and suggestions for improvement. As a designer for a platform which connects many different products, I had to make sure to listen to all of the stakeholders mentioned above and consider all of their various needs, requirements, and restrictions.

Assessing functionality

The two major functions that users expressed a need for were allowance and compliance, or as we framed it, "What do I have and what am I using?" For an MVP, however, it was likely that we would need to start by providing only the allowance information. We made this decision because while the ability to view and meter usage of product licenses (compliance) was something that would not be fully supported for some time, there were other licensing details (allowance) that could be made available to customers which would be of value.

Of the products in the current Rapid7 line-up, only one displays any licensing information at all and that information is unique to that product, so there were no screens to compare against. I created my designs from a blank page using Rapid7's established design patterns.


After analyzing the results from the customer interviews that I conducted with one of the UX Researchers, we came up with some core principles that we wanted to make sure we adhered to while making UI and UX decisions. Here are a few concepts that our users cared about:

Automation and reduced work

  • Find ways to remove the burden of manual work for the user who needs to monitor and maintain many licenses
  • Automate functions like removing duplicate assets, flagging ghosts and stale assets, and more

Clarity and ease of use

  • Provide relevant help and tips throughout the page
  • Make the page informative as well as functional
  • Provide a quick way for users to contact Rapid7 with questions or concerns in the event that something is out of place


  • Show information and options that are meaningful to the user
  • Allow users to customize expiration alerts to match their company's purchasing and renewal timelines
  • Ability to have usage rules and custom caps

Visibility and easy access

  • Make licensing information readily available at both the platform and product level
  • Frame the licensing functionality and architecture around user concerns (primarily compliance)

Ideation Phase 1

After initial discussions with the SaaS platform product owner and various subject matter experts in the business, I was able to gather enough information and requirements for the expected licensing experience to bring back to the drawing board. Throughout this ideation phase, I consulted with and sought feedback from the other platform designers in order to acquire varying points of view and ensure adherence to design standards and guiding principles.

Note: Click to view larger.

sketch of Rapid7 Insight Platform with high-level license informationsketch of Rapid7 Insight Platform with license invoices and cost informationsketch of Rapid7 Insight Platform with license usage trends


With the sketching session complete and having assessed the back-end licensing capabilities that already existed in Rapid7's instance of Salesforce, I designed three versions of licensing visibility within the platform. Each version had either a different design or information architecture (or both). At this point, I also removed the license usage features from the wireframes as I knew this functionality would not be released in the first version. I presented a full set of page views for each of these three versions to the platform PM, made some alterations, and then presented them to a wider group of internal teams for feedback and further discussion.

Note: Click to view larger.

Wireframe of Rapid7 Insight Platform with high-level license informationWireframe of Rapid7 Insight Platform with license invoices and cost informationWireframe version 2 of Rapid7 Insight Platform with high-level license information

UX research, analytics, and writing

With stakeholder feedback, I returned to the UX researcher in order to seek customer validation of the wireframe mock-ups. We worked together to conduct interviews with a handful and customers and internal stakeholders to determine if this level of license information would be perceived as adding value, despite the fact that it did not contain usage information.

I also reviewed client behavior on the website (e.g. number of support tickets filed and/or phone calls made regarding licensing, time on pages related to asset activity, other pages visited in the same session, etc.) using web analytics tools - Domo & Pendo - to quantitatively measure user behaviors and estimate the expected impact of this set of mocks.

At this point I engaged with the UX writing department at this time in order to begin reviewing content and getting some approval for page titles, tabs, buttons, and other key terms. I wanted their input early so as to reduce the occurrence of distracted discussions around terminology later in the design process.

Ideation Phase 2

Having collected a wealth of information from the product owner, SMEs, and real clients, I demoted the first version of the wireframes and updated versions 2 and 3, which I then discussed with another member of the platform design team. Together we decided to move forward with recommending the second version to the business partners and made a few more changes - primarily reducing features to fit an MVP release.

During this phase, I also spoke with some cross-functional business partners to understand other areas of the business (e.g. support, sales, customer success, etc.) that would be impacted by this new feature. My goal was to make sure that links in this feature, such as a button that allows customers to contact the Rapid7 sales team if they see that their license is about to expire, would connect to the correct information and be approved by those teams.

Note: Click to view larger.

Mock-up of Rapid7 Insight Platform with high-level license informationMock-up of Rapid7 InsightIDR product with high-level license information

Future State

While the MVP is being implemented by our engineering team, I went back to the drawing board and started envisioning the long-term future state of licensing design for Rapid7. This is all exploratory work, but I wanted to make sure that my current and future designs would be flexible enough to accommodate for new features.

Note: Click to view larger.

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