TRADING FLOOR APPLICATION

An investment manager engaged Scott Logic to redesign the user interface of a critical trading floor application.

PROVIDING DIRECTION

Our client faced a relatively common problem: they had developed a sophisticated, data-heavy system, used as part of their day-to-day trading activities.  Unfortunately, the users disliked and mistrusted the system, and consequently did not use it.  The client then approached Scott Logic because of the strength of our user experience design practice and our domain track record.

USER RESEARCH MEETS COLLABORATIVE DESIGN

A 2-day consultancy, consisting of on-site observation and workshops with two Scott Logic user experience designers, allowed us to analyse the existing situation and provide direction and designs to address the issues.  Through unrestricted access to both the trading floor and the traders our designers were quickly able to understand the working environment and gain detailed insight into the problems the traders were facing with the specific system under scrutiny.

Initial user research through observation on the trading floor lead to a series of collaborative design workshops that doubled up as opportunities for further user research, since the participants were the traders themselves.  This pragmatic approach proved very effective because, as well as minimising the time required from the traders, it provided a strong platform and opportunity for the traders to collectively consider the purpose of the system that they would otherwise not have had.

FOCUSED COMPLEXITY

After a couple of short iterations, the Scott Logic designers were able to represent intentions for the system such that it was immediately apparent that the issue was one of split personality.  The existing system was attempting to support two fundamentally different tasks, each with a very different mindset and mental model.  Having made and confirmed this insight, further iterations in design workshops were able to focus separately addressing each of the two concerns.  The end result was a design for a relatively drastic split and overhaul of the user interface, without the need for much change in the underlying functionality of the system.

THE ADDED BONUS

The strong working relationship that was quickly established, combined with the client’s openness, meant that the Scott Logic designers were able to provide further, general advice and guidance on the client’s development efforts.  There was even room for elements of product discovery, ideation and design for a related system that was in early planning.