On Monday Nasdaq launched a redesign of its mobile application for Thomson ONE Investor Relations. Updates include new dashboards and tools as well as a smoother interface for improved user experience. The updates on design, as well as function, speaks to a growing trend in revamping total user experience with the help of experts outside the core industry.
Application developers typically employ traditional engineers who know how to build a product, but not how to build experience. If they do attend to some design consideration, it can often stop at tweaks in font and colors without addressing the complete experience. But in the last few years technology providers are increasingly aware of how important a pleasing and engaging user interface is to the workflow.
Nasdaq's sizable product solutions design team has extensive experience with diverse backgrounds that vary from online retail, Disney, Broadway theater, design agencies and nonprofits. Almost all can or do provide code. "We didn't just pull them out of Financial Services," said Michael Cotter, senior VP of corporate solutions at Nasdaq OMX. "That was on purpose. The first 6 months of their coming on board is emerging themselves into the new world they're focused. Ultimately they provide a fresh look on workflows and a new design perspective."
[More on Nasdaq's UX upgrades:User Experience is Driving Changes to Nasdaq's Corporate Solution Platform]
Nasdaq's target IR audience is actively using mobile applications and asking for more features, he adds. The IR application provides a variety of information including estimates on companies and peers, research, news, earning transcripts, ownership content, charting, and more. According to Cotter, many of the IR's are looking at the application first thing in the morning with their coffee, when on the road, in meetings and in the margins of their day.
"That's when they'll use the functionality and that's why we're focused on delivering it. It's not window dressing. The view and workflow are a focus for us that's reinforced by our customers. We interacted with customers and found how they use the product. We did that via survey and interviews and brought that information back to our design team, and then took the new design back to clients to validate."
"I think user experience is a strategic differentiator," he says. "I fully believe that the end user experience is what really drives value. The fact that clients tell us they want to open an app with their coffee to quickly see what's happening across a broad array of client and peers.. it's important for them to have that quickly and dynamically. From my persecutive, getting that to them in fewest click and easiest access is what's most important."
Nasdaq continues to make investment in the user experience of mobile users and next generation desktop interfaces. The design team has paralleled tracks focused on mobile as well as next generation desktop programs. "These aren't independent silo tracks. As we think of next generation, we think simultaneously of what those mobile needs are as well as desktop, but we have dedicated resources for mobile side by side with committed teams to desktop, and frankly that's a broader investment philosophy." Becca Lipman is Senior Editor for Wall Street & Technology. She writes in-depth news articles with a focus on big data and compliance in the capital markets. She regularly meets with information technology leaders and innovators and writes about cloud computing, datacenters, ... View Full Bio