IQ/MAX, the next generation trading desktop with enhanced user intelligence, is officially launched today in London by IPC Information Systems.
IPC is a premier provider of mission-critical trading floor communication solutions for the global financial services industry. This represents the second in a series of global launch events which began two weeks ago in New York City. More than 105,000 traders in over 40 countries currently use an IPC desktop every day.
IPC interviewed or observed some 300 traders on over 50 trading floors worldwide, including traders using both IPC and non-IPC systems. Throughout the project, IPC collaborated closely with a team of strategists, designers and engineers from frog design, well known for its unique convergence of disciplines. As a result, MAX represents an industry first with respect to its high level of research, development, design and focus on the end user experience.
Working in response to the demanding environment and physical restrictions of the modern trading floor, the team created a new desktop that works in conjunction with the intuitive nature of trading. The team focused equally on the industrial design as well as the design of a new embedded user interface, examining everything from the best way to visualise data, the effects of ambient noise and desktop ergonomics.
Lance Boxer, Chief Executive Officer, IPC says, "The trading floor is one of the most high-octane and high stakes environments in modern business. With the advent of cell phones, iPods and Xboxes, the new generation of traders have been weaned on consumer technology. This in turn has had a profound influence on expectations of tools in the workplace. In many respects a worker can only be as good as his or her tools. With the rollout of MAX, IPC is pleased to offer the world's trading floors what we believe to be the most powerful and innovative tool of its kind in the marketplace. IPC clients stand to gain from all of this hard work in the form of increased trader productivity."
Doreen Lorenzo, Chief Operating Officer, frog design, says, "We were thrilled to work with IPC on a tool that's vitally important to the financial services industry. Our goal was to apply design intelligence from consumer industries to offer traders more power, speed, control and accuracy. Before MAX, the trader could get the job done, but little consideration was given to the actual user experience. MAX allows the trader to be more productive without worrying about how the technology works."
Significant enhancements include:
- A ground-up redesign of the user interface, incorporating the semantics of how information is visually organised and presented by financial services industry fixtures (e.g., Bloomberg, CNBC, etc) and traders themselves. The new user interface encourages intuitive learning to make sure traders get the most out of the technology
- Thoroughly researched ergonomics featuring everything from a curved console - designed to integrate naturally into the trader's desktop space – to specifically chosen force-curves for each individual button. The new desktop is much smaller than before, taking up less space on a trader's desktop
- A modular industrial design comprised of individual units that simply attach to the back of the system, allowing for easy future upgrades and repairs
- Every display is a high-quality, active matrix TFT (Thin Film Transistor) screen that allows clear viewing at any angle and in any lighting condition
- Custom designed acoustics which optimise the bass-reflex response and improve overall sound quality
- A new collaborative tool, "Deskshare", allows traders to share elements of their desktop with colleagues. For instance, when a trader is away from the desk, co-workers can be alerted to incoming calls
- Instantaneous one-button replay of the last 20 seconds of any speaker channel allowing the trader to recall any information that might have been missed
- Developed on a layered API-driven (Application Program Interface) framework that leverages open source and standard protocols for quick and flexible deployment of future applications
MAX is scheduled to begin beta testing in April with a number of IPC clients.