Cool Under Pressure
“The new generation of traders has been raised on advanced consumer technology, and this has a profound influence on expectations of tools in the workplace.”
In the high-pressure world of the stock trading floor, constant communications with other traders to make decisions and deals is vital. A key piece of equipment they use is the turret—a sophisticated phone system that can handle several calls at one time and hundreds a day. IPC is the market leader in turret manufacturing, so it turned to frog to help them update their devices to be as easy to use as everyday consumer electronics.
To understand the pressures and needs of traders, frog sent a team of researchers to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. That team also interviewed more than 300 traders and financial services professionals. From this it became clear that the turret had to feel like an integral part of the existing trader work flow, and it had to communicate clearly every call’s status without further complicating the visual cacophony of the trading floor. It also had to be easy to use right away since traders often receive little training on equipment.
The design of the new turret uses color and light visual cues to convey information such as the priority of a call or how
long someone has been on hold. frog's designers tried to place buttons so they would be intuitive to use, and they used high quality displays so that they're legible whether standing or sitting. The displays run financial information software that traders use every day, while simple symbols quickly relay complex scenarios.
The final product’s iconic curved profile is highly ergonomic, and it slots neatly between the trader's monitors and keyboard. The modular design makes it adaptable to individual work styles, and easily upgraded in the future.
After getting to market, the IQ/MAX exceeded all sales expectations, with IPC selling over 8,000 units worldwide in the first year alone. By focusing on the traders themselves, and understanding the need to center the design around the user experience, frog was able to create a successful and lasting product.