A leading online investment company with a platform serving investment professionals and individual investors faced increased competition from rivals. The company sought to develop a more compelling and differentiated version of their platform for its next release, one that offered features and functionality that would make it the technology of choice for professionals and individual investors alike in an increasingly competitive online trading marketplace. But key stakeholders disagreed about the right changes to make to improve the platform, with product development, marketing and sales all having strong opinions about the proper course to set for the future of the product.
The company hired Applied Marketing Science (AMS) to identify the course of action that would respond to market demand, differentiate the product from the competition and enable the platform to succeed in the future.
What We Did
AMS conducted user-experience (UX) research with investment professionals and individual investors. The research involved detailed, open ended, in-person, one-on-one conversation with professionals and individual investors familiar with a range of platforms. Through a combination of observation and interviewing, AMS established the essentials of the working environment, how technology fed into that, key aspects of the platform (e.g., placing trades, getting research), as well as issues relating to the overall look, feel, intuitiveness and branding of the platform.
The work involved observation and discussion of our client’s platform and that of competitors and a detailed understanding of workflow, including number of computer screens in use, analytical tools and issues related to the visual display of information in an often cluttered workspace. We observed and asked questions designed to elicit stated and unstated needs. The research covered the entire process and workflow and involved office and home-based users.
The results directly informed the development of the next generation product. Key changes involved functional improvements relating to the display of information, minimization of clicks, and the ability to integrate with third-party analytical tools. The findings also led to design changes related to the overall look and feel of the platform, which had implications for the brand. These included the layout, font and overall design aesthetic.