UX Magazine

Defining and Informing the Complex Field of User Experience (UX)
Article No. 216 March 24, 2010

Redesigning The Bloomberg Interface

3 design firms try to tackle the user interface of the Bloomberg financial news terminal. A number of interesting takes on a complicated interface design.

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IDEO’s mockup wins by a landslide, in my humble opinion.

I could see where happyCorp is massively popular to designers but true number geeks might prefer the simplistic approach of IDEO.

The IDEO design is great, it would be nice to have the option to switch to a black background (to keep it easy on the eyes when working in a darker room).

all of these designs missed the point and tried to make information and interfaces minimal. As someone who has designed interfaces for brokers following a user-centred approach which involved the brokers themselves in the process…I can tell you that the problem is not in LESS information but in better information visualisation. Equally…the assumption that removing numbers and replacing them with graphics of various sorts equally misses the point…its the numbers that decisions are made on. In my experience, and my opinion, designers often superimpose their own desire for simplicity onto the needs of others whose mental models are very different. In the case of trading systems, the impact of designing the wrong kind of interface is the loss of large sums of money for that broker. While all of the designs here are aesthetically pleasing, they all need to look a bit harder at the cognitive ergonomics needed to support rapid information processing and decisive decion-making. Substance over form is important here. Don’t be fooled by pixel-magic.

IDEO gets my vote. A beautiful, clean and clear approach to displaying a vast amount of content.

IDEO gets my vote. A beautiful, clean and clear approach to displaying a vast amount of content.

all of these designs missed the point and tried to make information and interfaces minimal. As someone who has designed interfaces for brokers following a user-centred approach which involved the brokers themselves in the process…I can tell you that the problem is not in LESS information but in better information visualisation. Equally…the assumption that removing numbers and replacing them with graphics of various sorts equally misses the point…its the numbers that decisions are made on. In my experience, and my opinion, designers often superimpose their own desire for simplicity onto the needs of others whose mental models are very different. In the case of trading systems, the impact of designing the wrong kind of interface is the loss of large sums of money for that broker. While all of the designs here are aesthetically pleasing, they all need to look a bit harder at the cognitive ergonomics needed to support rapid information processing and decisive decion-making. Substance over form is important here. Don’t be fooled by pixel-magic.

The IDEO design is great, it would be nice to have the option to switch to a black background (to keep it easy on the eyes when working in a darker room).

I could see where happyCorp is massively popular to designers but true number geeks might prefer the simplistic approach of IDEO.

IDEO’s mockup wins by a landslide, in my humble opinion.