06 April 2010

Hot air on Bloomberg screen re-design

Quite a brouhaha on UX magazine, which has picked up an old (2007) report of a conceptual design project run by business magazine, Portfolio. Portfolio asked three design agencies (IDEO, thehappycorp, Ziba) to re-design Bloomberg's rather brutal appearing, classic trader screen.

IDEO's option seems to present the most promising approach but, at this high-level, conceptual stage of development, fails to meet some basic trader needs (e.g. suitability for rapidly spotting patterns and trends, essential to a trader's work). And so it might, after just three weeks in development. Any re-design of a system which has evolved over many years to the current complexity of Bloomberg's would take months of development and refinement and a managed introduction to its users at implementation.

But because of poor reporting and some bogus speculation by UX magazine (e.g. Bloomberg didn't take up IDEO's proposal because its users are entrenched in a difficult interface which makes their task look more complex than it is) many pixels have been spilled both in comments and elsewhere on the web.

A viral storm in a teacup, if ever there was one.

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